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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Substance P stimulates IL-1 production by astrocytes via intracellular calcium.

There is increasing evidence that local substance P ( SP) exacerbates peripheral inflammations, partly by stimulating production of inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-1 (IL-1) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha). SP may play similar roles in certain central nervous system inflammations. Multiple sclerosis plaques, for example, form around veins which are innervated by unmyelinated SP-containing fibers, and astrocytes in multiple sclerosis plaques stain for SP. We tested whether SP could stimulate IL-1 and TNF alpha production by cultured astrocytes and whether calcium was the second messenger in this process. We found that both SP and the calcium ionophore A23187 raised intracellular calcium ([Ca2+]i) and stimulated IL-1 production in astrocytes. SP also nonsignificantly increased TNF alpha production by astrocytes. Treatment with dibromo BAPTA/AM, an intracellular calcium buffer, blocked SP-induced IL-1 production. These findings indicate that SP induces IL-1 production by astrocytes and uses calcium as a second messenger. Our results indicate local SP may play a role in multiple sclerosis and certain other central nervous system inflammations.[1]


  1. Substance P stimulates IL-1 production by astrocytes via intracellular calcium. Martin, F.C., Charles, A.C., Sanderson, M.J., Merrill, J.E. Brain Res. (1992) [Pubmed]
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