Anti-inflammatory effect of afatinib (an EGFR-TKI) on OGD-induced neuroinflammation

Yen Ju Chen, Chia Chi Hsu, Young Ji Shiao, Hsiang Tsui Wang, Yu Li Lo*, A. M.Y. Lin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Activated epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) has been proposed in the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases. In the present study, the anti-inflammatory effect of afatinib, an EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitor (EGFR-TKIs) was investigated using CTX-TNA2 cells and primary cultured astrocytes subjected to oxygen/glucose deprivation (OGD). We found that OGD induced EGFR phosphorylation and activated subsequent signaling pathways, including phosphorylation of AKT and extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK). Afatinib blocked OGD-induced phosphorylation of EGFR, AKT and ERK. At the same time, afatinib attenuated OGD-induced elevations in glial fibrillary acidic protein (a biomarker of activated astrocytes) and proliferating cell nuclear antigen expression (a cell proliferating biomarker) as well as hypoxia-induced migratory ability. Furthermore, afatinib decreased OGD-induced increases in cyclooxygenase-II and inducible nitric oxide synthase expression of the treated astrocytes as well as NO content in the culture medium. Moreover, afatinib attenuated OGD-induced caspase 1 activation (a biomarker of inflammasome activation) and interleukin-1β levels (a pro-inflammatory cytokine). Collectively, afatinib could block OGD-induced EGFR activation and its downstream signaling pathways in astrocytes. Moreover, afatinib attenuated OGD-induced astrocyte activation, proliferation and inflammasome activation. These data support the involvement of EGFR activation in neuroinflammation. Furthermore, EGFR-TKIs may be promising in inhibiting neuroinflammation in the CNS neurodegenerative diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2516
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019


Dive into the research topics of 'Anti-inflammatory effect of afatinib (an EGFR-TKI) on OGD-induced neuroinflammation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this