Inhibitory effects of the two novel TSPO ligands 2-Cl-MGV-1 and MGV-1 on LPS-induced microglial activation

Sheelu Monga, Rafi Nagler, Rula Amara, Abraham Weizman, Moshe Gavish*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The 18 kDa translocator protein (TSPO) ligands 2-Cl-MGV-1 and MGV-1 can attenuate cell death of astrocyte-like cells (U118MG) and induce differentiation of neuronal progenitor cells (PC-12). Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is a bacterial membrane endotoxin that activates cellular inflammatory pathways by releasing pro-inflammatory molecules, including cytokines and chemokines. The aim of the present study was to assess the immuno-modulatory effect of TSPO ligands in activated microglial cells. We demonstrated that the TSPO ligands 2-Cl-MGV-1 and MGV-1 can prevent LPS-induced activation of microglia (BV-2 cell line). Co-treatment of LPS (100 ng/mL) with these TSPO ligands (final concentration- 25 µM) reduces significantly the LPS-induced release of interleukin-6 (IL-6) from 16.9-fold to 2.5-fold, IL-β from 8.3-fold to 1.6-fold, interferon- from 16.0-fold to 2.2-fold, and tumor necrosis factor-α from 16.4-fold to 1.8-fold. This anti-inflammatory activity seems to be achieved by inhibition of NF-κB p65 activation. Assessment of initiation of ROS generation and cell metabolism shows significant protective effects of these two novel TSPO ligands. The IL-10 and IL-13 levels were not affected by any of the TSPO ligands. Thus, it appears that the ligands suppress the LPS-induced activation of some inflammatory responses of microglia. Such immunomodulatory effects may be relevant to the pharmacotherapy of neuro-inflammatory diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number486
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2019


  • 2-Cl-MGV-1
  • BV-2 cell line
  • Cytokines
  • MGV-1
  • Microglial activation
  • NF-κB
  • Neuroinflammation
  • Translocator protein (TSPO)


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