Neuroinflammation is an integral component of neurodegenerative disorders, CNS infection and trauma. Astroglial chemokines, such as CXCL10, are instrumental in neuroinflammatory signaling as well as neurotoxicity. We have utilized proinflammatory-induced CXCL10 expression in normal human astrocytes (NHA) as a model in which to assess the anti-inflammatory actions of the selective, mu-opioid receptor (MOR) antagonist, β-funaltrexamine (β-FNA). Interferon (IFN)γ + HIV-1 Tat-induced CXCL10 expression (secreted protein and mRNA) was inhibited by co-treatment with β-FNA. Neither the MOR-selective antagonist, D-Phe-Cys-Tyr-D-Trp-Arg-Pen-Thr-NH 2 (CTAP) nor the nonselective opioid receptor antagonist, naltrexone inhibited IFNγ + HIV-1 Tat-induced CXCL10 expression. Furthermore, co-treatment with excess CTAP or naltrexone did not prevent β-FNA mediated inhibition of IFNγ + HIV-1 Tat-induced CXCL10 expression. Additionally, we utilized an inhibitor of NF-κB activation (SN50) to demonstrate that IFNγ + HIV-1 Tat-induced CXCL10 expression is NF-κB-dependent in NHA. Subsequent experiments revealed that β-FNA did not significantly affect NF-κB activation. Interestingly, we discovered that β-FNA inhibited p38 activation as indicated by decreased expression of phospho-p38. Together, these findings suggest that the inhibitory actions of β-FNA are MOR-independent and mediated, in part, via a transcriptional mechanism. These findings add to our understanding of the mechanism by which chemokine expression is inhibited by β-FNA. In conjunction with future investigations, these novel findings are expected to provide insights into the development of safe and effective treatments for neuroinflammation.
- Interferon γ
- Mu opioid receptor