Kinins are important biologically active peptides that are up-regulated after lesions in both the peripheral and central (CNS) nervous systems. Microglia are immune cells in the CNS and play an important role in the defense of the neuronal parenchyma. In cultured murine microglia, bradykinin (BK) induces mobilization of intracellular Ca2+, microglial migration, and increases the release of nitric oxide and prostaglandin E2. On the other hand, BK attenuates lipopolysaccharide-activated TNF-α and IL-1β release. These results suggest that BK functions as a signal in brain trauma and may have an anti-inflammatory role in the CNS.
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