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Neuroreport. 2004 Mar 22;15(4):681-5.

Ethanol-induced iNOS and COX-2 expression in cultured astrocytes via NF-kappa B.

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  • 1Instituto de Investigaciones Citol√≥gicas, Amadeo de Saboya 4, 46010-Valencia, Spain.


The CNS is particularly susceptible to the effects of alcohol and toxicity. Astrocytes are immunoactive cells, and the activation of these cells is associated with several neurodegenerative disorders. By using cultured cortical astrocytes, we show that a short ethanol treatment (100 mM) is able to up-regulate both cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression, and that these effects are regulated via nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappa B) as revealed by the inhibition of NF-kappa B activation with pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC) or BAY 11-7082. These results suggest that ethanol is able to induce inflammatory mediators in astrocytes through the NF-kappa B activation.

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