Interleukin 16 (IL-16) is a cytokine that is primarily associated with CD4+ T cell function, but also exists as a multi-domain PDZ protein expressed within cerebellar and hippocampal neurons. We have previously shown that lymphocyte-derived IL-16 is neuroprotective against excitotoxicity, but evidence of how it affects neuronal function is limited. Here, we have investigated whether IL-16 modulates neuronal excitability and synaptic activity in mouse primary hippocampal cultures. Application of recombinant IL-16 impairs both glutamate-induced increases in intracellular Ca2+ and sEPSC frequency and amplitude in a CD4- and CD9-independent manner. We examined the mechanisms underlying these effects, with rIL-16 reducing GluA1 S831 phosphorylation and inhibiting Na+ channel function. Taken together, these data suggest that IL-16 reduces neuronal excitability and synaptic activity via multiple mechanisms and adds further evidence that alternative receptors may exist for IL-16.
- calcium signalling
- na+ channels