Anti-inflammatory effects of β-FNA are sex-dependent in a pre-clinical model of LPS-induced inflammation

Stephanie Myers, Kelly McCracken, Daniel J. Buck, J. Thomas Curtis, Randall L. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Inflammation is present in neurological and peripheral disorders. Thus, targeting inflammation has emerged as a viable option for treating these disorders. Previous work indicated pretreatment with beta-funaltrexamine (β-FNA), a selective mu-opioid receptor (MOR) antagonist, inhibited inflammatory signaling in vitro in human astroglial cells, as well as lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced neuroinflammation and sickness-like-behavior in mice. This study explores the protective effects of β-FNA when treatment occurs 10 h after LPS administration and is the first-ever investigation of the sex-dependent effects of β-FNA on LPS-induced inflammation in the brain and peripheral tissues, including the intestines. Results: Male and female C57BL/6J mice were administered LPS followed by treatment with β-FNA-immediately or 10 h post-LPS. Sickness- and anxiety-like behavior were assessed using an open-field test and an elevated-plus-maze test, followed by the collection of whole brain, hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, cerebellum/brain stem, plasma, spleen, liver, large intestine (colon), proximal small intestine, and distal small intestine. Levels of inflammatory chemokines/cytokines (interferon γ-induced-protein, IP-10 (CXCL10); monocyte-chemotactic-protein 1, MCP-1 (CCL2); interleukin-6, IL-6; interleukin-1β, IL-1β; and tumor necrosis factor-alpha, TNF-α) in tissues were measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Western blot analysis was used to assess nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) expression. There were sex-dependent differences in LPS-induced inflammation across brain regions and peripheral tissues. Overall, LPS-induced CXCL10, CCL2, TNF-α, and NF-κB were most effectively downregulated by β-FNA; and β-FNA effects differed across brain regions, peripheral tissues, timing of the dose, and in some instances, in a sex-dependent manner. β-FNA reduced LPS-induced anxiety-like behavior most effectively in female mice. Conclusion: These findings provide novel insights into the sex-dependent anti-inflammatory effects of β-FNA and advance this agent as a potential therapeutic option for reducing both neuroinflammation an intestinal inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4
JournalJournal of Inflammation (United Kingdom)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • Chemokine
  • Cytokine
  • Neuroinflammation
  • Neuroprotective
  • Nuclear factor-κB
  • Opioid
  • Peripheral inflammation
  • β-funaltrexamine


Dive into the research topics of 'Anti-inflammatory effects of β-FNA are sex-dependent in a pre-clinical model of LPS-induced inflammation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this