Send to

Choose Destination
J Neurochem. 2003 Mar;84(6):1266-74.

Chloroquine induces activation of nuclear factor-kappaB and subsequent expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines by human astroglial cells.

Author information

Department of Cell Biology, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, USA.


Chloroquine, an antimalarial lysosomotropic base, is known for its anti-inflammatory effects and therefore used for treatment of autoimmune diseases. Given its anti-inflammatory effects, it has been under clinical trials to modify neurodegenerative processes. In this study, we examined whether chloroquine has an anti-inflammatory effect in the CNS by determining the in vitro effects of chloroquine on LPS-induced expression of cytokines by glial cells. We observed that (i) chloroquine augmented LPS-induced expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as lymphotoxin (LT)-beta, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, interleukin (IL)-1alpha, IL-1beta and IL-6 in human astroglial cells, while the same treatment suppressed LPS-induced expression of cytokines in monocytic and microglial cells; (ii) chloroquine alone induced expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines in a dose- and time-dependent manner in astroglial cells; (iii) other lysosomotropic agents such as ammonium chloride and bafilomycin A1 had minimal effects on cytokine expression; and (iv) chloroquine induced the activation of nuclear factor-kappa B in astroglial cells, which is a required component of chloroquine induction of cytokines. These results suggest that chloroquine may evoke either anti- or pro-inflammatory responses in the CNS depending on the cellular context.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center