Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
FASEB J. 2013 Jul;27(7):2713-22. doi: 10.1096/fj.12-222992. Epub 2013 Apr 8.

Rifampin inhibits Toll-like receptor 4 signaling by targeting myeloid differentiation protein 2 and attenuates neuropathic pain.

Author information

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO 80309, USA.


Rifampin has been used for the treatment of bacterial infections for many years. Clinically, rifampin has been found to possess immunomodulatory effects. However, the molecular target responsible for the immunosuppressive effects of rifampin is not known. Herein, we show that rifampin binds to myeloid differentiation protein 2 (MD-2), the key coreceptor for innate immune TLR4. Rifampin blocked TLR4 signaling induced by LPS, including NF-κB activation and the overproduction of proinflammatory mediators nitric oxide, interleukin 1β, and tumor necrosis factor α in mouse microglia BV-2 cells and macrophage RAW 264.7 cells. Rifampin's inhibition of TLR4 signaling was also observed in immunocompetent rat primary macrophage, microglia, and astrocytes. Further, we show that rifampin (75 or 100 mg/kg b.i.d. for 3 d, intraperitoneal) suppressed allodynia induced by chronic constriction injury of the sciatic nerve and suppressed nerve injury-induced activation of microglia. Our findings indicate that MD-2 is a important target of rifampin in its inhibition of innate immune function and contributes to its clinically observed immune-suppressive effect. The results also suggest that rifampin may be repositioned as an agent for the treatment of neuropathic pain.


drug repositioning; inflammation; innate immune; microglia

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center