Expression of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase and production of quinolinic acid by human microglia, astrocytes, and neurons

Gilles J. Guillemin*, George Smythe, Osamu Takikawa, Bruce J. Brew

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

310 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

There is good evidence that the kynurenine pathway (KP) and one of its end products, quinolinic acid (QUIN) play a role in the pathogenesis of several major neurological diseases. While QUIN has been shown to be produced in neurotoxic concentrations by macrophages and microglia, the capacity of astrocytes and neurons to produce QUIN is controversial. Using Interferon gamma (IFN-γ)-stimulated primary cultures of human mixed brain cells, we assayed expression of the KP regulatory enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) and QUIN production by immunocytochemistry. Using IFN-γ-stimulated purified cultures of neurons, astrocytes, microglia and macrophages, we studied IDO expression by RT-PCR and production of QUIN using mass spectrometry. We found that astrocytes, neurons, and microglia expressed IDO but only microglia were able to produce detectable amounts of QUIN. However, astrocytes and neurons had the ability to catabolize QUIN. This study also provides the first evidence of IDO expression and lack of production of QUIN in culture of primary human neurons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-23
Number of pages9
JournalGLIA
Volume49
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Human, astrocyte
  • Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase
  • Microglia
  • Neuron
  • Quinolinic acid

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