More MS news articles for Feb 2002

Suppressive effects of ansamycins on inducible nitric oxide synthase expression and the development of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis

J Neurosci Res 2002 Feb 15;67(4):461-470
Murphy P, Sharp A, Shin J, Gavrilyuk V, Dello Russo C, Weinberg G, Sharp FR, Lu A, Heneka MT, Feinstein DL.
Department of Anesthesiology, University of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois.

The production of nitric oxide by the inflammatory isoform of nitric oxide synthase (NOS2) in brain glial cells is thought to contribute to the causes and development of neurological diseases and trauma.

We previously demonstrated that activation of a heat shock response (HSR) by hyperthermia reduced NOS2 expression in vitro, and in vivo attenuated the clinical and histological symptoms of the demyelinating disease experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE; Heneka et al. [2001] J. Neurochem. 77:568--579).

Benzoquinoid ansamycins are fungal-derived antibiotics with tyrosine kinase inhibitory properties, and which also induce a HSR by allowing activation of HS transcription factor HSF1.

We now show that two members of this class of drugs (geldanamycin and 17-allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin) also induce a HSR in primary rat astrocytes and rat C6 glioma cells.

Both drugs dose-dependently reduced nitrite accumulation, NOS2 steady-state mRNA levels, and the cytokine-dependent activation of a rat 2.2-kB NOS2 promoter construct stably expressed in C6 cells.

These inhibitory effects were partially reversed by quercetin, a bioflavonoid which prevents HSF1 binding to DNA and thus attenuates the HSR.

Ansamycins increased mRNA levels of the inhibitory I[kappa]B[alpha] protein, suggesting that inhibition of NF[kappa]B activation could contribute to their suppressive effects.

Finally, in C57BL/6 mice actively immunized to develop EAE, a single injection of geldanamycin at 3 days after immunization reduced disease onset by over 50%.

These results indicate that ansamycins can exert potent anti-inflammatory effects on brain glial cells which may provide therapeutic benefit in neuroinflammatory diseases.

Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.