Differential effect of type I and type II interferons on neopterin production and amino acid metabolism in human astrocyte-derived cells

Neurosci Lett. 2008 Jun 13;438(1):22-5. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2008.04.046. Epub 2008 Apr 18.


Intrathecal production of neopterin, a pteridine produced by interferon (IFN)-gamma-stimulated monocyte-derived macrophages, is associated with neurological disorders and infections. We investigated whether IFN-alpha/beta, IFN-gamma, or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) induce neopterin production by human astroglioma cells. IFN-alpha/beta and IFN-gamma, but not HIV, induced neopterin. Interestingly, IFN-gamma, but not IFN-alpha/beta, increased expression and activity of the tryptophan-catabolizing enzyme indoleamine (2,3)-dioxygenase. In contrast, IFN-alpha/beta, but not IFN-gamma, reduced the uptake of three aromatic amino acids in U87MG and U138 astroglioma cells. Thus type I and type II IFN stimulate astrocyte-derived cells to produce neopterin and exert differential effects on amino acid metabolism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • AIDS Dementia Complex / immunology
  • AIDS Dementia Complex / metabolism
  • AIDS Dementia Complex / physiopathology
  • Amino Acids, Aromatic / metabolism*
  • Astrocytes / drug effects
  • Astrocytes / immunology*
  • Astrocytes / metabolism
  • Brain / immunology
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / virology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • HIV-1 / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Indoleamine-Pyrrole 2,3,-Dioxygenase / drug effects
  • Indoleamine-Pyrrole 2,3,-Dioxygenase / metabolism
  • Interferon-alpha / pharmacology*
  • Interferon-gamma / pharmacology*
  • Neopterin / biosynthesis*
  • Neopterin / metabolism
  • Tryptophan / metabolism


  • Amino Acids, Aromatic
  • Indoleamine-Pyrrole 2,3,-Dioxygenase
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Neopterin
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Tryptophan