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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 729509, 14 pages
Research Article

Trimethyltin-Induced Microglial Activation via NADPH Oxidase and MAPKs Pathway in BV-2 Microglial Cells

Department of Pharmacology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, 103 Daehakno, Jongno-gu, Seoul 110-799, Republic of Korea

Received 22 April 2015; Revised 10 June 2015; Accepted 11 June 2015

Academic Editor: Ulrich Eisel

Copyright © 2015 Da Jung Kim and Yong Sik Kim. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Trimethyltin (TMT) is known as a potent neurotoxicant that causes neuronal cell death and neuroinflammation, particularly in the hippocampus. Microglial activation is one of the prominent pathological features of TMT neurotoxicity. Nevertheless, it remains unclear how microglial activation occurs in TMT intoxication. In this study, we aimed to investigate the signaling pathways in TMT-induced microglial activation using BV-2 murine microglial cells. Our results revealed that TMT generates reactive oxygen species (ROS) and increases the expression of CD11b and nuclear factor-κB- (NF-κB-) mediated nitric oxide (NO) and tumor necrosis factor- (TNF-) α in BV-2 cells. We also observed that NF-κB activation was controlled by p38 and JNK phosphorylation. Moreover, TMT-induced ROS generation occurred via nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase in BV-2 cells. Interestingly, treatment with the NADPH oxidase inhibitor apocynin significantly suppressed p38 and JNK phosphorylation and NF-κB activation and ultimately the production of proinflammatory mediators upon TMT exposure. These findings indicate that NADPH oxidase-dependent ROS generation activated p38 and JNK mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), which then stimulated NF-κB to release proinflammatory mediators in the TMT-treated BV-2 cells.