Cocaine induced inflammatory response in human neuronal progenitor cells

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We have employed a genomic approach in homogenous cell culture to investigate the fundamental transcriptional responses which occur in neurons over time as a consequence of a single 30-min exposure to cocaine. Data from 24 Affymetrix microarrays, representing eight treatment groups, were analyzed by GeneChip Operating Software and then further mined by hierarchical clustering, ANOVA, and Ingenuity Pathway Analysis software to examine known molecular pathways impacted by the observed transcriptional changes. For each time point under investigation, the data sets of genes exhibiting altered expression in treated cells compared with control were interrogated with a specific focus on differential expression of genes involved in immunomodulation and inflammation. The existing literature on the effects of cocaine in a diverse array of experimental paradigms demonstrates a significant modulation of inflammation and immune mechanisms, but these have typically been studies of chronic exposure in immune-competent cells. Our data show a time-dependent up-regulation of genes associated with pro-inflammatory and immune responses, peaking at 24 h as confirmed by all methods of analysis, suggesting a specific neuronal immunomodulatory response to acute cocaine exposure.

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