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Neurosci Lett. 2001 Jan 26;298(1):33-6.

Astrocytic factors down-regulate the expression of major histocompatibility complex-class-II and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 on human monocytes.

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  • 1University Hospital for Orthopaedic Surgery, Friedrichsheim, Marienburgstrasse 2, D-60528 Frankfurt am Main, Germany.


Several factors contribute to the maintenance of central nervous system immune privilege and astrocytes have been identified as a major source of immunomodulatory cytokines. To investigate whether hematogenous monocytes are immunologically deactivated by astrocyte-derived factors human monocytes were stimulated with lipopolysaccharide or interferon (IFN)-gamma and treated with the supernatant from pure astrocyte cultures, interleukin (IL)-4, IL-10, or with IL-1-receptor antagonist (1L-1-RA). Flow cytometry demonstrated that the supernatant from astrocyte cultures was the most potent agent in reducing the levels of major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-class-II- as well as intercellular adhesion molecule-1-expression, whereas IL-4, IL-10, and IL-1-RA had only marginal effects. The expression of leukocyte function antigen-1 and very late antigen-4 was not modulated by either factor. In conclusion, astrocytes seem to provide soluble factors that have the capacity to deactivate hematogenous monocytes.

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