Send to

Choose Destination
J Neuroimmunol. 1998 Aug 14;89(1-2):168-76.

Expression of interleukin 6 in the rat striatum following stereotaxic injection of quinolinic acid.

Author information

Department of Neurology, Technical University Aachen, Germany.


Stereotaxic intrastriatal injection of the naturally occurring N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) agonist quinolinic acid (QA) serves as a valuable in vivo model to study excitotoxic cell damage in the central nervous system (CNS). Although morphological changes such as neuronal loss, glial activation and remote reactions following QA injection have been described in some detail, much less is known about the molecular mechanisms mediating the accompanying glial response. Cytokines are known to play a crucial role in almost all kinds of CNS alterations. We now demonstrate that IL-6, a multifunctional glycoprotein which belongs to the family of neurokines, is expressed endogenously in the rat striatum following QA injection. Using Northern blot analysis, a massive but transient upregulation of IL-6 mRNA could be detected. This started 3 h after QA injection, reached a maximum at 6 h and disappeared within 24 h. That activated microglia are the most likely cellular source of the observed corresponding IL-6 protein expression could be concluded by comparing the immunocytochemical pattern of IL-6 expression and microglial activation. Interestingly, astrocytes initially downregulate their expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) in the excitotoxically injured striatum, but show a delayed increase in GFAP immunoreactivity starting in the periphery of the striatum, subsequently expanding to the core. The early transient IL-6 expression may play an important role in initiating the delayed astrocytic response following excitotoxic cell injury.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center