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Neurosci Lett. 2008 Jun 13;438(1):22-5. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2008.04.046. Epub 2008 Apr 18.

Differential effect of type I and type II interferons on neopterin production and amino acid metabolism in human astrocyte-derived cells.

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Experimental Immunology Branch, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, 10 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Intrathecal production of neopterin, a pteridine produced by interferon (IFN)-gamma-stimulated monocyte-derived macrophages, is associated with neurological disorders and infections. We investigated whether IFN-alpha/beta, IFN-gamma, or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) induce neopterin production by human astroglioma cells. IFN-alpha/beta and IFN-gamma, but not HIV, induced neopterin. Interestingly, IFN-gamma, but not IFN-alpha/beta, increased expression and activity of the tryptophan-catabolizing enzyme indoleamine (2,3)-dioxygenase. In contrast, IFN-alpha/beta, but not IFN-gamma, reduced the uptake of three aromatic amino acids in U87MG and U138 astroglioma cells. Thus type I and type II IFN stimulate astrocyte-derived cells to produce neopterin and exert differential effects on amino acid metabolism.

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