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J Neuroinflammation. 2012 Feb 16;9:32. doi: 10.1186/1742-2094-9-32.

Naloxone inhibits immune cell function by suppressing superoxide production through a direct interaction with gp91phox subunit of NADPH oxidase.

Author information

1
Neuropharmacology Section, Laboratory of Toxicology and Pharmacology, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Both (-) and (+)-naloxone attenuate inflammation-mediated neurodegeneration by inhibition of microglial activation through superoxide reduction in an opioid receptor-independent manner. Multiple lines of evidence have documented a pivotal role of overactivated NADPH oxidase (NOX2) in inflammation-mediated neurodegeneration. We hypothesized that NOX2 might be a novel action site of naloxone to mediate its anti-inflammatory actions.

METHODS:

Inhibition of NOX-2-derived superoxide by (-) and (+)-naloxone was measured in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated midbrain neuron-glia cultures and phorbol myristate acetate (PMA)-stimulated neutrophil membranes by measuring the superoxide dismutase (SOD)-inhibitable reduction of tetrazolium salt (WST-1) or ferricytochrome c. Further, various ligand (3H-naloxone) binding assays were performed in wild type and gp91phox-/- neutrophils and transfected COS-7 and HEK293 cells. The translocation of cytosolic subunit p47phox to plasma membrane was assessed by western blot.

RESULTS:

Both (-) and (+)-naloxone equally inhibited LPS- and PMA-induced superoxide production with an IC50 of 1.96 and 2.52 μM, respectively. Competitive binding of 3H-naloxone with cold (-) and (+)-naloxone in microglia showed equal potency with an IC50 of 2.73 and 1.57 μM, respectively. 3H-Naloxone binding was elevated in COS-7 and HEK293 cells transfected with gp91phox; in contrast, reduced 3H-naloxone binding was found in neutrophils deficient in gp91phox or in the presence of a NOX2 inhibitor. The specificity and an increase in binding capacity of 3H-naloxone were further demonstrated by 1) an immunoprecipitation study using gp91phox antibody, and 2) activation of NOX2 by PMA. Finally, western blot studies showed that naloxone suppressed translocation of the cytosolic subunit p47phox to the membrane, leading to NOX2 inactivation.

CONCLUSIONS:

Strong evidence is provided indicating that NOX2 is a non-opioid novel binding site for naloxone, which is critical in mediating its inhibitory effect on microglia overactivation and superoxide production.

PMID:
22340895
PMCID:
PMC3305409
DOI:
10.1186/1742-2094-9-32
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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