2020 Volume 43 Issue 9 Pages 1430-1433
Hippocampal cholinergic neurostimulating peptide (HCNP) is a secreted undecapeptide produced through proteolytic cleavage of its precursor protein, HCNPpp. Within hippocampal neurons, HCNP increases gene expression of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), which catalyzes acetylcholine (ACh) synthesis, thereby modulating neural activity. HCNPpp also appears to be expressed in various immune cells. In the present study, we observed that HCNPpp is expressed in U937 human macrophage-like cells and that HCNP exposure suppresses lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced gene expression of ChAT. The opposite action is also seen in T lymphocytes, which suggest that HCNP appear to suppress cholinergic system in immune cells. In addition, HCNP suppresses LPS-induced gene expression of inflammatory enzymes including cyclooxygenase 2 (COX2) and inducible nitric oxide (NO) synthase (iNOS). The suppressive effect of HCNP may reflect suppression of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling activated by LPS. Thus, HCNP may have therapeutic potential as an anti-inflammatory drug.