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Neurochem Res. 2008 Jan;33(1):179-84. Epub 2007 Aug 22.

Glial expression of interleukin-18 and its receptor after excitotoxic damage in the mouse hippocampus.

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Department of Anatomy, Seoul National University College of Medicine, 28 Yongon-Dong, Chongno-Gu, Seoul, 110-799, South Korea.


Interleukin (IL)-18, a member of the IL-1 cytokine family, is an important mediator of peripheral inflammation and host defence responses. However, although IL-1 is a key proinflammatory cytokine in the brain, little is known about IL-18 changes in glial cells under excitotoxic neurodegeneration. In this study, we characterized the expressions of IL-18 and IL-18 receptor (IL-18R) in kainic acid (KA)-induced excitotoxicity in mouse hippocampus by immunohistochemistry and Western blotting. IL-18 immunoreactivity was found in microglia whereas IL-18R immunoreactivity was observed in astrocytes. Levels of IL-18 and IL-18R in hippocampus homogenates increased progressively from day 1 post-KA and peaked at 3 days. This study demonstrates the cellular sources of IL-18 and IL-18R, and their temporal correlations after KA-insult, and suggests roles for IL-18 and IL-18R in glial cells in response to excitotoxic damage in the hippocampus.

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