Expression of functional formyl peptide receptors by human astrocytoma cell lines

J Neuroimmunol. 2000 Nov 1;111(1-2):102-8. doi: 10.1016/s0165-5728(00)00373-8.


Activation of astrocytes is important in the pathogenesis of a variety of diseases in the central nervous system, such as infection and neurodegeneration. We found that the bacterial chemotactic peptide, N-formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (fMLF) induced potent migration and Ca(2+) mobilization in human astrocytoma cell lines. The effect of fMLF was pertussis toxin-sensitive, suggesting the involvement of seven transmembrane, G protein-coupled receptor(s) for fMLF. Scatchard analyses revealed that astrocytoma cell lines express both high- and low-affinity binding sites for [3H]fMLF. RT-PCR confirmed the expression of transcripts of fMLF receptors, the high-affinity FPR and the low-affinity FPRL1 by these cells. Both fMLF and F peptide, a synthetic peptide domain of HIV-1 envelope protein which specifically activates FPRL1, increased secretion of IL-6 by astrocytoma cells. Our study demonstrates for the first time that FPR and FPRL1 expressed by astrocytoma cell lines are functional, and suggests a molecular basis for the involvement of these receptors in host defense in the brain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Astrocytoma*
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Chemotaxis / drug effects
  • Chemotaxis / immunology
  • Gene Expression / physiology
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / biosynthesis
  • N-Formylmethionine Leucyl-Phenylalanine / metabolism
  • N-Formylmethionine Leucyl-Phenylalanine / pharmacology
  • Receptors, Formyl Peptide
  • Receptors, Immunologic / genetics*
  • Receptors, Immunologic / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Lipoxin*
  • Receptors, Peptide / genetics*
  • Receptors, Peptide / metabolism*
  • Tritium
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / cytology
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / immunology
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / metabolism


  • FPR2 protein, human
  • Interleukin-6
  • Receptors, Formyl Peptide
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • Receptors, Lipoxin
  • Receptors, Peptide
  • Tritium
  • N-Formylmethionine Leucyl-Phenylalanine
  • Calcium