Potent anti-inflammatory activity of betulinic acid treatment in a model of lethal endotoxemia.
Maxadilan is a vasodilatory peptide encoded by a gene cloned from Lutzomyia longipalpis salivary glands. In this study we investigated the effects of maxadilan on macrophage functions. Maxadilan treatment of LPS-stimulated BALB/c macrophages inhibited TNF-alpha release but increased IL-6. Further, it also induced IL-6 release in a dose-dependent manner from unstimulated macrophages. Maxadilan increased production of PGE2, and the inhibition of TNF-alpha was completely abrogated by indomethacin. Others have recently shown that maxadilan is a selective agonist of the pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) type I receptor. Treatment with the receptor antagonist PACAP 6-38 blocked maxadilan activities on macrophages. The natural endogenous ligand, PACAP 38, had the same effects as maxadilan on TNF-alpha and IL-6 production. Finally, in a dose- and time-dependent fashion, maxadilan induced the intracellular accumulation of cAMP in macrophages. Taken together, the results presented here indicate a modulatory effect of ligands of PACAP type I receptor on cytokine production by macrophages and suggest that activation of this receptor, with the subsequent elevation of intracellular cAMP in macrophages, could participate in a negative-feedback mechanism that controls certain inflammatory responses.