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Regulation of the Manganese Superoxide Dismutase and Inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase Gene in Rat Neuronal and Glial Cells


Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. H. S. Nick at Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Box 100245, JHMHC, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610, U.S.A.


Abstract: Bidirectional communication occurs between neuroendocrine and immune systems through the action of various cytokines. Responses to various inflammatory mediators include increases in intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), notably, superoxide anion (O2) and nitric oxide (NO). Neurotoxicity mediated by NO may result from the reaction of NO with O2, leading to formation of peroxynitrite (ONOO). ROS are highly toxic, potentially contributing to extensive neuronal damage. We, therefore, evaluated the effects of a variety of inflammatory mediators on the regulation of mRNA levels for manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in primary cultures of rat neuronal and glial cells. To determine age-dependent variation of mRNA expression, we used glial cells derived from newborn, 3-, 21-, and 95-day-old rat brains. Interleukin-1β, interferon-γ (IFN-γ), bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and tumor necrosis factor-α showed significant induction of MnSOD in both glial and neuronal cells. However, only LPS and IFN-γ increased iNOS mRNA. These data demonstrate that these two genes are similarly regulated in two cells of the nervous system, further suggesting that the oxidative state of a cell may dictate a neurotoxic or neuroprotective outcome.