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J Biol Chem. 2011 Dec 23;286(51):43855-70. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.299248. Epub 2011 Oct 26.

Lipocalin-2 Is a chemokine inducer in the central nervous system: role of chemokine ligand 10 (CXCL10) in lipocalin-2-induced cell migration.

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Department of Pharmacology, School of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea.


The secreted protein lipocalin-2 (LCN2) has been implicated in diverse cellular processes, including cell morphology and migration. Little is known, however, about the role of LCN2 in the CNS. Here, we show that LCN2 promotes cell migration through up-regulation of chemokines in brain. Studies using cultured glial cells, microvascular endothelial cells, and neuronal cells suggest that LCN2 may act as a chemokine inducer on the multiple cell types in the CNS. In particular, up-regulation of CXCL10 by JAK2/STAT3 and IKK/NF-κB pathways in astrocytes played a pivotal role in LCN2-induced cell migration. The cell migration-promoting activity of LCN2 in the CNS was verified in vivo using mouse models. The expression of LCN2 was notably increased in brain following LPS injection or focal injury. Mice lacking LCN2 showed the impaired migration of astrocytes to injury sites with a reduced CXCL10 expression in the neuroinflammation or injury models. Thus, the LCN2 proteins, secreted under inflammatory conditions, may amplify neuroinflammation by inducing CNS cells to secrete chemokines such as CXCL10, which recruit additional inflammatory cells.

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