Previous studies have demonstrated that human astrocytes express mRNA and receptor protein for group I and II metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs). Whether these receptors can influence the inflammatory and immune response and can modulate the capacity of astrocytes to produce inflammatory cytokines is still unclear. Inflammatory cytokines can be produced by activated glial cells and play a critical role in several neurological disorders. Astrocyte-enriched human cell cultures growing in a serum-free chemically defined medium were used to study the regulation of IL (interleukin)-1β and IL-6 in response to mGluR activation. Astrocytes cultured in the absence or in the presence of epidermal growth factor (EGF), did not secrete significant IL-1β and IL-6, as determined by specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Activation of mGluRs using (S)-3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG; selective group I agonist) or DCG-IV (selective group II agonist) did not affect the production of interleukins under both growth conditions. On exposure to IL-1β high levels of IL-6 were detected. Activation of mGluR3 with DCG-IV (but not of mGluR5 with DHPG) enhanced, in the presence of IL-1β, the release of IL-6 in a dose dependent manner in astrocytes cultured under conditions (+EGF) in which the mGluR expression is known to be upregulated. The effect of mGluR3 activation on IL-1β stimulated release of IL-6 was prevented by selective group II mGluR antagonists. The capacity of mGluR3 to modulate the release of IL-6 in the presence of IL-1β supports the possible involvement of this receptor subtype in the regulation of the inflammatory and immune response under pathological conditions associated with glial cell activation.
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - 24 Jan 2005|