Inhibition of microglial superoxide anion production by isoproterenol and dexamethasone.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Microglia, like other tissue macrophages, are a component of the hypothalamic-pituitary endocrine-immune axis and, as such, are responsive to both neural and endocrine factors. Using cultured neonatal hamster microglia, we have examined the effect of isoproterenol, a beta-adrenergic agonist, and dexamethasone, a synthetic glucocorticoid, on superoxide anion production. For these experiments, microglia were pretreated with isoproterenol or dexamethasone and then induced to produce superoxide anion by exposure of the cells to phorbol myristate acetate (PMA). Our study demonstrates that the PMA-stimulated production of superoxide anion was decreased by acute (30 min) and chronic (24 h) pretreatment of the microglia with isoproterenol and was blocked by the beta-adrenergic receptor antagonist, propranolol. Since a rise in intracellular cAMP may be a prime factor in the inhibition of superoxide anion production in isoproterenol-treated cells, we used forskolin, a known activator of the adenylate cyclase in place of isoproterenol and re-investigate superoxide anion production. Short term exposures to forskolin produced a lower amount of superoxide anion than PMA-stimulated alone and, thus, mimicked the effect of isoproterenol. However, treatment with the same concentration of forskolin for 24 h prior to the induction of the NADPH oxidase did not significantly change PMA-stimulated superoxide anion production from untreated values. Thus, chronic exposure to forskolin produced a different effect than chronic exposure to isoproterenol. Isoproterenol and forskolin both increased immunoreactivity for the protein products of the early response genes, c-fos and c-jun. Pretreatment with dexamethasone for 24 h also inhibited superoxide anion production and was blocked by the protein synthesis inhibitor, cycloheximide. The simultaneous addition of varying concentrations of dexamethasone and 5 microM isoproterenol did not produce a greater inhibition in superoxide anion production than either agent alone. The down-regulation of microglial function by adrenergic agonists and by glucocorticoids provides a way in which the cytotoxicity of these immune cells can be reduced and may be a factor in the paracrine regulation of microglia.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Colton, CA; Chernyshev, ON

Published Date

  • July 1996

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 29 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 43 - 53

PubMed ID

  • 8808788

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0197-0186

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/0197-0186(95)00139-5


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England