Acute actions of tumor necrosis factor-alpha on intracellular Ca(2+) and K(+) currents in human microglia.
McLarnon, JG; Franciosi, S; Wang, X; Bae, JH; Choi, HB; Kim, SU
Neuroscience, 104(4):1175-1184, 2001
The effects of acute application of the pro-inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFalpha) on levels of intracellular Ca(2+) ([Ca(2+)]i) and on whole-cell outward and inward K(+) currents were studied in cultured human microglia. TNFalpha elicited a linear increase in [Ca(2+)]i to a plateau level in microglia bathed in either standard physiological saline solution or Ca(2+)-free physiological saline solution. The rate of increase of [Ca(2+)]i or the level of [Ca(2+)]i attained was not significantly altered in the absence of external Ca(2+) indicating that Ca(2+) influx did not contribute appreciably to the cytokine-induced rise in [Ca(2+)]i. This point was directly confirmed using Mn(2+) quenching where no change in signal fluorescence was observed with TNFalpha treatment of microglia in Ca(2+)-free physiological saline solution. The rate of increase of [Ca(2+)]i induced by TNFalpha in Ca(2+)-free physiological saline solution was not altered by prior application of ATP to deplete inositol triphosphate stores indicating that these stores did not contribute to the cytokine response. In whole-cell patch clamp recordings, the acute treatment of human microglia with TNFalpha led to the expression of an outward K(+) current in one-third (14 of 41) of cells. This current was activated at potentials positive to -30 mV, showed rapid kinetics of activation with no evident inactivation and had an I-V relation exhibiting outward rectification. Analysis of tail currents showed reversal of the outward K(+) current near -70 mV and tetraethylammonium (10 mM) inhibited the outward K(+) current to 24% of control level. Acute application of TNFalpha had no effect to alter inward rectifier currents generated from voltage ramps. The signaling pathways involving TNFalpha modulation of [Ca(2+)]i and K(+) channels in human microglia may contribute to functional and pathological actions of the cytokine in the brain.
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