Different inhibitory effects of kynurenic acid and a novel kynurenic acid analogue on tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) production by mononuclear cells, HMGB1 production by monocytes and HNP1-3 secretion by neutrophils

Zoltán Tiszlavicz, Balázs Németh, Ferenc Fülöp, László Vécsei, Katalin Tápai, Imre Ocsovszky, Yvette Mándi

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Kynurenic acid (KynA), a broad spectrum antagonist of excitatory amino acid receptors, may serve as a protective agent in neurological disorders. The potential anti-inflammatory effect of KynA in human leukocytes has not been characterized. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of KynA with those of a new analogue, 2-(2-N,N-dimethylaminoethylamine-1-carbonyl)-1H- quinolin-4-one hydrochloride on tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) production and high mobility group box protein 1 (HMGB1) secretion. The effects of KynA on granulocyte activation were investigated via the secretion of human neutrophil peptide 1-3 (HNP1-3). Peripheral blood mononuclear cells and granulocytes or CD14 positive monocytes were applied as effector cells, or whole blood cultures were used. TNF-α, HMGB1 and HNP1-3 concentrations were determined by ELISA, TNF-α and HNP1-3 mRNA expressions were quantified by reverse transcription PCR. KynA attenuated the TNF-α production of human mononuclear cells activated by heat-inactivated Staphylococcus aureus, inhibiting TNF-α production at the transcription level. Furthermore, KynA diminished HMGB1 secretion by U 937 monocytic cells and by peripheral blood monocytes. KynA inhibited the HNP1-3 secretion in whole blood and in granulocyte cultures. The suppressive effect of the KynA analogue was more potent than that of an equimolar concentration KynA in TNF-α, HMGB1 and HNP1-3 inhibition. These results suggest that the new KynA analogue has a more potent immunoregulatory effect than KynA on human mononuclear cells, monocytes and granulocytes and indicate the potential benefits of further exploration of its uses in human inflammatory disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-455
Number of pages9
JournalNaunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2011



  • Defensin-α
  • Granulocytes
  • HMGB1
  • Kynurenic acid
  • Monocytes
  • TNF-α

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

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