Up-regulation of microglial CD11b expression by nitric oxide

Avik Roy, Yiu K. Fung, Xiaojuan Liu, Kalipada Pahan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

174 Scopus citations


Increased expression of CD11b, the β-integrin marker of microglia, represents microglial activation during neurodegenerative inflammation. However, the molecular mechanism behind increased microglial CD11b expression is poorly understood. The present study was undertaken to explore the role of nitric oxide (NO) in the expression of CD11b in microglial cells. Bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced the production of NO and increased the expression of CD11b in mouse BV-2 microglial cells and primary microglia. Either a scavenger of NO (PTIO) or an inhibitor of inducible nitric-oxide synthase (L-NIL) blocked this increase in microglial CD11b expression. Furthermore, co-microinjection of PTIO with LPS was also able to suppress LPS mediated expression of CD11b and loss of dopaminergic neuronal fibers and neurotransmitters in striatum in vivo. Similarly, other inducers of NO production such as interferon-γ, interleukin-1β, human immunodeficiency virus type-1 gp120, and double-stranded RNA(poly(IC)) also increased the expression of CD11b in microglia through NO. The role of NO in the expression of CD11b was corroborated further by the expression of microglial CD11b by GSNO, an NO donor. Because NO transduces many intracellular signals via guanylate cyclase (GC), we investigated the role of GC, cyclic GMP (cGMP), and cGMP-activated protein kinase (PKG) in microglial expression of CD11b. Inhibition of LPS- and GSNO-mediated upregulation of CD11b either by NS2028 (a specific inhibitor of GC) or by KT5823 and Rp-8-bromo-cGMP (specific inhibitors of PKG), and increase in CD11b expression either by 8-bromo-cGMP or by MY-5445 (a specific inhibitor of cGMP phosphodiesterase) alone suggest that NO increases microglial expression of CD11b via GC-cGMP-PKG. In addition, GSNO induced the activation of cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) via PKG that was involved in the up-regulation of CD11b. This study illustrates a novel biological role of NO in regulating the expression of CD11b in microglia through GC-cGMP-PKG-CREB pathway that may participate in the pathogenesis of devastating neurodegenerative disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14971-14980
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number21
StatePublished - May 26 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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