In Brain Astrocytes, nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) is activated by stimuli that produce cellular stress causing the expression of Genes involved in defence, including the inducible Nitric Oxide synthase (NOS-2).
Theiler's Murine Encephalomyelitis Virus (TMEV) induces a persistent CNS infection and chronic Immune-mediated DeMyelination, similar to human Multiple Sclerosis.
The Cytokines InterLeukin-4 (IL-4) and IL-10 inhibit the expression of proinflammatory Cytokines, counteracting the inflammatory process.
Our study reports that infection of cultured Astrocytes with TMEV resulted in a time-dependent phosphorylation of IkappaBalpha, degradation of IkappaBalpha and IkappaBbeta, activation of NF-kappaB and expression of NOS-2.
The proteasome inhibitor MG-132 blocked TMEV-induced nitrite accumulation, NOS-2 mRNA expression and phospho-IkappaBalpha degradation, suggesting NF-kappaB-dependent NOS-2 expression.
Pretreatment of Astrocytes with IL-4 or IL-10 decreased p65 nuclear translocation, NF-kappaB binding activity and NOS-2 transcription. IL-4 and IL-10 caused an accumulation of IkappaBalpha in TMEV-infected Astrocytes without affecting IkappaBbeta levels.
The IkappaB kinase activity and the degradation rate of both IkappaBs were not modified by either Cytokine, suggesting de novo synthesis of IkappaBalpha. Indeed, IL-4 or IL-10 up-regulated IkappaBalpha mRNA levels after TMEV infection.
Therefore, the accumulation of IkappaBalpha might impair the translocation of the NF-kappaB to the Nucleus, mediating the inhibition of NF-kappaB activity.
Overall, these data suggest a novel mechanism of action of IL-4 and IL-10, which abrogates NOS-2 expression in viral-infected Glial Cells.