Reactive oxygen species up-regulate CD11b in microglia via nitric oxide: Implications for neurodegenerative diseases

Avik Roy, Arundhati Jana, Kavitha Yatish, Matthew B. Freidt, Yiu K. Fung, Jeffrey A. Martinson, Kalipada Pahan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Microglial activation is considered as a hallmark of several neurodegenerative disorders. During microglial activation, the expression of CD11b, the beta-integrin marker of microglia, is increased. However, the molecular mechanism behind increased microglial CD11b expression is poorly understood. The present study was undertaken to explore the role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the expression of CD11b in microglial cells. Bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulated the expression of CD11b in mouse BV-2 microglial cells and primary microglia, the effect that was blocked by antioxidants such as N-acetylcysteine (NAC) and pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC). Furthermore, comicroinjection of either NAC or PDTC with LPS was also able to suppress LPS-stimulated expression of CD11b in striatum in vivo. Similarly, other neurotoxic molecules, such as interleukin-1β (IL-1β), IL-12 p402, fibrillar amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides, HIV-1 gp120, and double-stranded RNA (poly(IC)), also stimulated the expression of CD11b in microglia through the involvement of ROS. Complete inhibition of LPS-stimulated expression of CD11b by catalase, induction of CD11b expression by H2O2 alone, and inhibition of superoxide-stimulated CD11b expression by catalase suggest that H2O2, but not superoxide, is in fact involved in the expression of CD11b. Interestingly, we also demonstrate that ROS stimulated the expression of CD11b after the induction of nitric oxide (NO) production and failed to stimulate CD11b when NO production was inhibited by either 2-(4-carboxyphenyl)-4,4,5,5-tetramethylimidazoline-1-oxyl-3-oxide (carboxy-PTIO) or L-N6-(1-iminoethyl)-L-lysine (L-NIL). Taken together, these studies suggest that the up-regulation of CD11b in microglia is redox sensitive and that ROS up-regulates CD11b via NO.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)686-699
Number of pages14
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • CD11b
  • Microglial activation
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Nitric oxide
  • Redox

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)


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