PACAP-cytokine interactions govern adrenal neuropeptide biosynthesis after systemic administration of LPS

Djida Ait-Ali, Nikolas Stroth, Jyoti M. Sen, Lee E. Eiden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have examined induction of neuropeptide expression in adrenal medulla after treatment of mice with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a model for septic shock, which activates both immune and stress responses in vivo. Messenger RNAs encoding vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) and galanin, both modulators of steroidogenesis in neighboring adrenal cortex, are up-regulated at 24 h (eight-fold for VIP and two-fold for galanin) after LPS injection, and remain elevated for the following 24 h. Up-regulation of VIP and galanin by LPS is abrogated in pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP)-deficient mice, suggesting an interaction between LPS, or LPS-induced cytokines, and PACAP released in adrenal medulla from the splanchnic nerve. Treatment of cultured chromaffin cells with 100 nM PACAP and 10 nM tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), a cytokine whose production is elevated by LPS, results in long-term synergistic up-regulation of VIP and galanin mRNA. PACAP blocks the earlier induction by TNF-α of mRNA encoding inhibitor of NF-κB alpha (IκBα), normally a negative autoregulator of TNF-α signaling through nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), without affecting the induction of TNF-α-induced protein 3 (TNFAIP3), another NF-κB-dependent gene induced by TNF-α in chromaffin cells. By acting downstream of NF-κB to inhibit IκBα gene induction by TNF-α, PACAP may block IκBα-dependent negative autoregulation of TNF-α signaling through NF-κB, prolonging TNF-α-dependent signaling to neuropeptide-encoding genes in chromaffin cells. This mechanism may also underlie PACAP-dependent neuropeptide gene induction by LPS in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)208-214
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Adrenal cortex
  • Adrenal medulla
  • Galanin
  • LPS
  • Septic shock
  • Stress
  • TNF-alpha
  • VIP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Pharmacology


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