Cytokine-induced enhancement of calcium-dependent glutamate release from astrocytes mediated by nitric oxide

Neurosci Lett. 2008 Feb 27;432(3):232-6. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2007.12.047. Epub 2007 Dec 25.


Cytokines are produced in the central nervous system (CNS) and exhibit various effects on neurons, microglia, and astrocytes. Astrocytes can release chemical transmitters, including glutamate, in a calcium-dependent manner, which may mediate communication between neurons and astrocytes. To date, no studies have been conducted on the effects of cytokines on calcium-dependent glutamate release from astrocytes. Here, we studied the effects of cytokines on calcium-dependent glutamate release. Cytokines enhanced glutamate release and induced the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and the production of nitric oxide (NO). The inhibition of iNOS eliminated the cytokine-induced enhancement of glutamate release, and treatment with a NO donor, even in the absence of cytokines, increased glutamate release. Thus, cytokines enhance glutamate release, and this enhancement is mediated by NO.

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Astrocytes / drug effects*
  • Calcium / pharmacology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cerebral Cortex / cytology
  • Cytokines / pharmacology*
  • Embryo, Mammalian
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein / metabolism
  • Glutamic Acid / metabolism*
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism*
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Triazenes / pharmacology


  • (1-hydroxy-2-oxo-3-(N-methyl-3-aminopropyl)-3-methyl-3-aminopropyl)-3-methyl-1-triazene
  • Cytokines
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein
  • Triazenes
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II
  • Calcium