Norepinephrine inhibits gamma-interferon-induced MHC class II (Ia) antigen expression on cultured brain astrocytes

Elliot Frohman, Bharathi Vayuvegula, Stanley van den Noort, Sudhir Gupta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

58 Scopus citations


Recent evidence that astrocytes can be induced to express the class II major histocompatability (MHC) antigens suggests that these cells may be involved in the development of intracerebral immune responses. The principal inducer of MHC class II antigen (Ia) expression is a soluble lymphokine, gamma-interferon (γ-IFN). Normally astrocytes do not express significant levels of Ia antigens despite the fact that agents such as γ-IFN may be present in the central nervous system (CNS). Here we report that a major neurotransmitter, norepinephrine (NE), inhibits, in a dose-response fashion, the ability of γ-IFN to induce Ia antigen expression on cultured astrocytes derived from newborn BALB/c mice. This finding may indicate that the brain contains inhibitory modulators that serve to prevent the up-regulation of intracerebral immune responsiveness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-101
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1988



  • Astrocyte
  • Flow cytometry
  • Ia antigen expression
  • Immunofluorescence
  • Interferon-γ
  • Norepinephrine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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