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J Neuroimmunol. 2000 Sep 1;109(1):16-22.

Mechanisms of anti-inflammatory action and of immunosuppression by glucocorticoids: negative interference of activated glucocorticoid receptor with transcription factors.

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Department of Molecular Biology, University of Gent and Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology, K.L. Ledeganckstraat 35, 9000, Gent, Belgium.


Glucocorticoids are the most widely used anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory agents, whose mechanism of action is based mainly on interference with the activity of transcription factors, such as nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) and activator protein-1 (AP-1). The precise molecular mechanisms of gene repression by glucocorticoids are a controversial matter, due to the existence of many conflicting hypotheses. We discuss the three main paradigms reported in the literature, namely the inhibitor kappaB-alpha (IkappaB-alpha) upregulatory model, the protein-protein interaction model and the competition model.

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