Cholecystokinin (CCK) was first described as a gastrointestinal hormone. However, apart from its gastrointestinal effects, studies have described that CCK also plays immunoregulatory roles. Taking in account the involvement of inducible nitric oxide synthase-(iNOS-) derived NO in the sepsis context, the present study was undertaken to investigate the role of CCK on iNOS expression in LPS-activated peritoneal macrophages. Our results revealed that CCK reduces NO production and attenuates the iNOS mRNA expression and protein formation. Furthermore, CCK inhibited the nuclear factor-(NF-) B pathway reducing IBα degradation and minor p65-dependent translocation to the nucleus. Moreover, CCK restored the intracellular cAMP content activating the protein kinase A (PKA) pathway, which resulted in a negative modulatory role on iNOS expression. In peritoneal macrophages, the CCK-1R expression, but not CCK-2R, was predominant and upregulated by LPS. The pharmacological studies confirmed that CCK-1R subtype is the major receptor responsible for the biological effects of CCK. These data suggest an anti-inflammatory role for the peptide CCK in modulating iNOS-derived NO synthesis, possibly controlling the macrophage activation through NF-B, cAMP-PKA, and CCK-1R pathways. Based on these findings, CCK could be used as an adjuvant agent to modulate the inflammatory response and prevent systemic complications commonly found during sepsis.
Saia, R. S., Mestriner, F. L., Bertozi, G., Cunha, F. Q., & Cárnio, E. C. (2014). Cholecystokinin Inhibits Inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase Expression by Lipopolysaccharide-Stimulated Peritoneal Macrophages. Mediators of Inflammation, 2014. https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/896029