Antagonistic effect of picolinic acid and interferon-γ on macrophage inflammatory protein- 1α/β production

Annamaria Rapisarda, Sandra Pastorino, Stefano Massazza, Luigi Varesio, Maria Carla Bosco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The L-tryptophan catabolite, picolinic acid (PA), is an activator of macrophage effector functions and an inducer of macrophage inflammatory protein-1α (MIP-1α) and -1β (MIPs). We have investigated the regulation of PA-induced MIPs production in mouse macrophages. We demonstrated a dose- and time-dependent downregulation of MIPs mRNA by the Th1 cytokine, IFN-γ, that was associated with inhibition of intracellular chemokine production and secretion. This effect was IFN-γ-specific because MIPs induction was unaffected by the Th2 cytokines, IL-10 and IL-4, or the proinflammatory stimulus, LPS. Moreover, MIPs downregulation by IFN-γ was dependent on both mRNA destabilization and gene transcription inhibition. These results demonstrate that MIP-1α/β production by macrophages is a tightly regulated process resulting from the interaction between inhibitory stimuli derived from the immune system and stimulatory signals of non-immunologic origin. The antagonistic effect of PA and IFN-γ on MIPs production may be important for the regulation of the inflammatory responses in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-80
Number of pages11
JournalCellular Immunology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2002


  • Chemokines
  • Cytokines
  • Environmental signals
  • Gene regulation
  • Interferon-γ
  • Macrophage inflammatory proteins- 1α/β
  • Macrophages
  • Tryptophan catabolites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Immunology


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