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Activation of melanocortin 4 receptors reduces the inflammatory response and prevents apoptosis induced by lipopolysaccharide and interferon-gamma in astrocytes
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience.
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2007 (English)In: Endocrinology, ISSN 0013-7227, E-ISSN 1945-7170, Vol. 148, no 10, 4918-4926 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Alpha-MSH exerts an immunomodulatory action in the brain and may play a neuroprotective role acting through melanocortin 4 receptors (MC4Rs). In the present study, we show that MC4Rs are constitutively expressed in astrocytes as determined by immunocytochemistry, RT-PCR, and Western blot analysis. alpha-MSH (5 microm) reduced the nitric oxide production and the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) induced by bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 1 microg/ml) plus interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma, 50 ng/ml) in cultured astrocytes after 24 h. alpha-MSH also attenuated the stimulatory effect of LPS/IFN-gamma on prostaglandin E(2) release and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression. Treatment with HS024, a selective MC4R antagonist, blocked the antiinflammatory effects of alpha-MSH, suggesting a MC4R-mediated mechanism in the action of this melanocortin. In astrocytes, LPS/IFN-gamma treatment reduced cell viability, increased the number of terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling-positive cells and activated caspase-3. alpha-MSH prevented these apoptotic events, and this cytoprotective effect was abolished by HS024. LPS/IFN-gamma decreased Bcl-2, whereas it increased Bax protein expression in astrocytes, thus increasing the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio. Alpha-MSH produced a shift in Bax/Bcl-2 ratio toward astrocyte survival because it increased Bcl-2 expression and also prevented the effect of LPS/IFN-gamma on Bax and Bcl-2 expression. In summary, these findings suggest that alpha-MSH, through MC4R activation, attenuates LPS/IFN-gamma-induced inflammation by decreasing iNOS and COX-2 expression and prevents LPS/IFN-gamma-induced apoptosis of astrocytes by modulating the expression of proteins of the Bcl-2 family.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 148, no 10, 4918-4926 p.
Keyword [en]
Animals, Apoptosis/*drug effects, Astrocytes/drug effects/metabolism/*physiology, Cell Survival/drug effects, Cyclooxygenase 2 Inhibitors/pharmacology, Inflammation/*prevention & control, Interferon Type II/*pharmacology, Lipopolysaccharides/*pharmacology, Nitric Oxide/antagonists & inhibitors/biosynthesis, Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II/antagonists & inhibitors, Peptides; Cyclic/pharmacology, Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2/metabolism, Rats, Rats; Wistar, Receptor; Melanocortin; Type 4/*metabolism, alpha-MSH/pharmacology, bcl-2-Associated X Protein/antagonists & inhibitors
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-16299DOI: 10.1210/en.2007-0366ISI: 000249525600047PubMedID: 17595227OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-16299DiVA: diva2:44070
Available from: 2008-05-15 Created: 2008-05-15 Last updated: 2011-01-21Bibliographically approved

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