High-oligomeric and low-total-?-synuclein cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels have been found in Parkinson's disease (PD), but with inconsistent or limited data, particularly on their clinical and structural correlates in earliest (premotor) or latest (dementia) PD stages. We determined CSF oligomeric- and total-?-synuclein in 77 subjects: 23 with idiopathic REM-sleep behaviour disorder (iRBD, a condition likely to include a remarkable proportion of subjects in the premotor stage of PD) and 41 with PD [21 non-demented (PDND) + 20 demented (PDD)], intended to reflect the premotor-motor-dementia PD continuum, along with 13 healthy controls. The study protocol also included the Unified PD Rating Scale motor-section (UPDRS-III), mini mental state examination (MMSE), neuropsychological cognitive testing, 3T brain MRI for cortical-thickness analyses, CSF ? and CSF A?. CSF oligomeric-?-synuclein was higher in PDND than iRBD and in PDD than iRBD and controls, and correlated with UPDRS-III, MMSE, semantic fluency and visuo-perceptive scores across the proposed premotor-motor-dementia PD continuum (iRBD + PDND + PDD). CSF total-?-synuclein positively correlated with age, CSF A?, and, particularly, CSF ?, tending towards lower levels in PD (but not iRBD) vs. controls only when controlling for CSF ?. Low CSF total-?-synuclein was associated with dysfunction in phonetic-fluency (a frontal-lobe function) in PD and with frontal cortical thinning in iRBD and PDND independently of CSF ?. Conversely, the associations of high (instead of low) CSF total-?-synuclein with posterior-cortical neuropsychological deficits in PD and with posterior cortical thinning in PDD were driven by high CSF ?. These findings suggest that CSF oligomeric- and total-?-synuclein have different clinical, neuropsychological and MRI correlates across the proposed premotor-motor-dementia PD continuum. CSF total-?-synuclein correlations with CSF ? and A? support the hypothesis of an interaction among these proteins in PD, with CSF ? probably influencing the presence of high (instead of low) CSF total-?-synuclein and its correlates mostly in the setting of PD-related dementia.
The mechanisms that control microglial activation are of interest, since neuroinflammation, which involves reactive microglia, may be an additional target in the search for therapeutic strategies to treat neurodegenerative diseases. Neuron-microglia interaction through contact-dependent or independent mechanisms is involved in the regulation of the microglial phenotype in both physiological and pathological conditions. The interaction between CD200, which is mainly present in neurons but also in astrocytes, and CD200R1, which is mainly present in microglia, is one of the mechanisms involved in keeping the microglial proinflammatory phenotype under control in physiological conditions. Alterations in the expression of CD200 and CD200R1 have been described in neurodegenerative diseases, but little is known about the mechanism of regulation of these proteins under physiological or pathological conditions. The aim of this work was to study the modulation of CD200 and CD200R1 expression by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR-?), a transcription factor involved in the control of the inflammatory response. Mouse primary neuronal and glial cultures and neuron-microglia cocultures were treated with the PPAR-? endogenous ligand 15-deoxy-?(12, 14) -prostaglandin J2 (15d-PGJ2 ) in the presence and absence of lipopolysaccharide plus interferon-? (LPS/IFN-?)-induced glial activation. We show that 15d-PGJ2 inhibits the pro-inflammatory response and prevents both CD200R1 downregulation and CD200 upregulation in reactive glial cells. In addition, 15d-PGJ2 abrogates reactive-microglia induced neurotoxicity in neuron-microglia cultures through a CD200-CD200R1 dependent mechanism. These results suggest that PPAR-? modulates CD200 and CD200R1 gene expression and that CD200-CD200R1 interaction is involved in the anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective action of PPAR-? agonists.
The eicosanoid prostaglandin E2 (PGE2 ) plays important roles in neuroinflammation and it is produced by the sequential action of the enzymes cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and prostaglandin E synthase (PTGES). The expression of both enzymes and the production of PGE2 are increased in neuroinflammation. The objective of this study was to elucidate whether the transcription factor CCAAT/enhancer binding protein ? (C/EBP?) regulates the expression of prostaglandin synthesis enzymes in neuroinflammation. To this aim, the expression of these enzymes in wild-type and C/EBP?-null mice was analyzed in vitro and in vivo. In mixed glial cultures, lipopolysaccharide (LPS)?±?interferon ? (IFN-?) induced C/EBP? binding to COX-2 and PTGES promoters. LPS?±?IFN-?-induced increases in PTGES expression and in PGE2 production in mixed glial and microglial cultures were abrogated in the absence of C/EBP?. Also, increased brain PTGES expression induced by systemic LPS administration was markedly reduced in C/EBP?-null mice. In contrast to PTGES, the induction of COX-2 expression in vitro or in vivo was not markedly affected by the absence of C/EBP?. These results demonstrate that C/EBP? regulates PTGES expression and PGE2 production by activated microglial cells in vitro and point to C/EBP? as a regulator of PTGES expression in vivo in the inflamed central nervous system. Altogether, these findings strengthen the proposed role of C/EBP? as a key player in the orchestration of neuroinflammatory gene response.
The transcription factor CCAAT/enhancer binding protein ? (C/EBP?) is expressed in activated astrocytes and microglia and can regulate the expression of potentially detrimental proinflammatory genes. The objective of this study was to determine the role of C/EBP? in glial activation. To this end, glial activation was analyzed in primary glial cultures and in the central nervous system from wild type and C/EBP?(-/-) mice. In vitro studies showed that the expression of proinflammatory genes nitric oxide (NO)synthase-2, cyclooxygenase-2, and interleukin (IL)-6 in glial cultures, and the neurotoxicity elicited by microglia in neuron-microglia cocultures, were decreased in the absence of C/EBP? when cultures were treated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and interferon ?, but not with LPS alone. In C/EBP?(-/-) mice, systemic LPS-induced brain expression of NO synthase-2, tumor necrosis factor-?, IL-1?, and IL-6 was attenuated. Finally, increased C/EBP? nuclear expression was observed in microglial cells from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients and G93A-SOD1 mice spinal cord. These results demonstrate that C/EBP? plays a key role in the regulation of proinflammatory gene expression in glial activation and suggest that C/EBP? inhibition has potential for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders, in particular, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Inflammatory responses mediated by glial cells play a critical role in many pathological situations related to neurodegeneration such as Alzheimers disease. Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is a serine protease which best-known function is fibrinolysis, but it is also involved in many other physiological and pathological events as microglial activation. Here, we found that tPA is required for A?-mediated microglial inflammatory response and tumor necrosis factor-? release. We further investigated the molecular mechanism responsible for tPA-mediated microglial activation. We found that tPA induces a catalytic-independent rapid and sustained activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2, Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), Akt, and p38 signaling pathways. Inhibition of ERK1/2 and JNK resulted in a strong inhibition of microglial activation, whereas Akt inhibition led to increased inflammatory response, suggesting specific functions for each signaling pathway in the regulation of microglial activation. Furthermore, we demonstrated that AnnexinA2 and Galectin-1 receptors are involved in tPA signaling and inflammatory response in glial cells. This study provides new evidences supporting that tPA plays a cytokine-like role in glial activation by triggering receptor-mediated intracellular signaling circuits and opens new therapeutic strategies for the treatment of neurological disorders in which neuroinflammation plays a pathogenic role.
Neuroinflammation is thought to play a pathogenic role in many neurodegenerative disorders including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In this study we demonstrate that the expression of nitric oxide (NO) synthase-2 (NOS2), and cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) with interferon-? is higher in microglial-enriched cultures from G93A-SOD1 mice, an ALS animal model, than from wild type mice. The levels of CCAAT/enhancer binding protein ? (C/EBP?), a transcription factor that regulates proinflammatory gene expression, are also upregulated in activated G93A-SOD1 microglial cells. In vivo, systemic lipopolysaccharide also induces an exacerbated neuroinflammatory response in G93A-SOD1 mice versus wild type mice, with increased expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), CD11b, nitric oxide synthase-2, cyclooxygenase-2, proinflammatory cytokines, and C/EBP?. Finally, we report that C/EBP? is expressed by microglia in the spinal cord of ALS patients. This is the first demonstration to our knowledge of microglial C/EBP? expression in human disease. Altogether these findings indicate that G93A-SOD1 expression results in an exacerbated pattern of neuroinflammation and suggest that C/EBP? is a candidate to regulate the expression of potentially neurotoxic genes in microglial cells in ALS.
Microglia and astrocytes respond to homeostatic disturbances with profound changes of gene expression. This response, known as glial activation or neuroinflammation, can be detrimental to the surrounding tissue. The transcription factor CCAAT/enhancer binding protein ? (C/EBP?) is an important regulator of gene expression in inflammation but little is known about its involvement in glial activation. To explore the functional role of C/EBP? in glial activation we have analyzed pro-inflammatory gene expression and neurotoxicity in murine wild type and C/EBP?-null glial cultures.
Huntingtons disease (HD) is a rare genetic disease associated with the degeneration of GABAergic striatal projection neurons in the basal ganglia leading to movement disorders with behavioral symptoms for which there is presently no therapy. Abnormally high levels of monoamine oxidase (MAO) activity, which are potentially linked to cytotoxic free radical formation, are known to occur during aging and in neurodegenerative disorders (MAO-B is markedly increased in plaque-associated astrocytes in Alzheimers disease). We therefore measured, with anatomical resolution, MAO-A and -B activities in 5 cases of HD (severity grades 1-3) and age-matched controls by quantitative enzyme radioautography using radiolabeled enzyme inhibitors (3)H-Ro 41-1049 and (3)H-lazabemide, respectively, as high-affinity ligands in vitro. MAO-A was increased significantly (ca. 50%; p<0.01) in the putamen and substantia nigra pars compacta of the basal ganglia and in the pons. Higher increases in MAO-B (75%-200%; p<0.01) occurred in the putamen, ventral striatum, globus pallidus externus and internus of the basal ganglia and in the insular cortex. The increased enzyme levels (especially of MAO-B) seemed to correlate with the grade of disease severity. We conclude that MAO increases in those regions of HD brains which are known to undergo neurodegeneration accompanied by glioses. Whether or not this increased enzyme activity is a cause or effect of the resulting loss of the GABAergic projection neurons in HD is yet to be clarified. Moreover, it remains to be seen if selective enzyme inhibitors have therapeutic utility in the treatment of HD by reducing oxidative stress locally.
The control of neuroinflammation is a potential target to be considered in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. It is therefore important to find anti-inflammatory drugs and study new targets that inhibit neuroinflammation. We designed an experimental model of neuroinflammation in vitro to study the anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects of the flavonoid chrysin and the involvement of nuclear factor-?B p65 and CCAAT/enhancer binding proteins (C/EBPs) ? and ? transcription factors in its mechanism of action. We used primary cultures of mouse embryonic cortical neurons and cultures of BV2 (murine microglial cell line) or mouse primary microglia. We induced neuronal death in neuronal-BV2/microglial co-cultures using lipopolysaccharide of Escherichia coli and interferon-?. Chrysin pre-treatment inhibited nitric oxide and tumor necrosis factor-? production, as well as inducible nitric oxide synthase expression in lipopolysaccharide E. coli and interferon-?-treated microglial cells, but did not affect cyclooxygenase-2 expression. Chrysin pre-treatment also protected neurons against the neurotoxicity induced by reactive microglial cells. These effects were associated to a decrease in C/EBP? protein level, mRNA expression, and DNA-binding activity, with no effect on C/EBP? and p65 nuclear protein levels or DNA-binding activity, pointing out C/EBP? as a possible mediator of chrysin effects. Consequently, C/EBP? is a possible target to act against neuroinflammation in neurodegenerative processes.
Short interfering RNA (siRNA) inhibits the synthesis of specific proteins through RNA interference (RNAi). However, siRNA can induce innate immune responses that are mediated by toll-like receptors (TLRs) in cells of the immune system. Here, we sought to evaluate whether siRNA can induce such responses in glial cells. We examined the effects of various siRNA sequences prepared with lipids (oligofectamine). Lipid-siRNA induced variable degrees of silencing-independent nonspecific effects, e.g. increased Stat1 and Cox-2 expression and release of IL-6 and IP-10 in primary astroglia. This was prevented through chemical modification of siRNA by nucleoside 2-O-methylation, without impairing specific gene silencing. Lipid-siRNA also induced nonspecific responses in purified astroglia, but not in microglia, or 3T3 cells. The highest TLR7 and TLR3 mRNA expression was found in microglia and purified astroglia, respectively. Accordingly, the TLR3 agonist poly(I:C) (PIC) induced higher release of IFN-beta in primary and purified astroglia than in microglia. As siRNA, PIC induced IP-10, Stat1, VCAM-1, and Cox-2 and increased TLR3 mRNA expression. The effects of lipid-siRNA in purified astrocytes were attenuated after silencing TLR3 or TLR7 expression, and by the PKR inhibitor 2-aminopurine. Furthermore, lipid-siRNA induced the expression of RIG-I. In contrast, siRNA devoid of lipids did not enter the astrocytes, did not silence gene expression, and did not induce Stat1 or Cox-2. The results show that, in astroglia, lipid-siRNA induces innate immune responses that are mediated, at least in part, by intracellular mechanism dependent on TLR7, TLR3, and helicases.
The cdk inhibitor p21(Cip1), also named p21(Cip1/Waf1), is intimately involved in coupling growth arrest to cellular differentiation in several cell types. p21(Cip1) is a multifunctional protein that might regulate cell-cycle progression at different levels. In a recent study, we found no differences in the rate of proliferation between glial cells from wild-type and p21(Cip1-/-) mice. In the present study, we examined differences in glial activation between glial cells from wild-type and p21(Cip1-/-) mice, using mixed glial cultures, microglia-enriched cultures, and astrocyte-enriched cultures. We compared the effect of lipopolysaccharide and two forms (oligomeric and fibrillar) of the 1-42 beta-amyloid peptide on glial activation. We observed an attenuation of nuclear translocation of the nuclear factor kappa-B in p21(Cip1-/-) glial cells, when compared with glial cells from wild-type mice. In contrast, tumor necrosis factor-alpha release was enhanced in p21(Cip1-/-)microglial cells. In addition glial activation induced by lipopolysaccharide and the fibrillar form of the 1-42 beta-amyloid peptide upregulated p21(Cip1). Our results support a role for p21(Cip1) in the activation of glial cells, particularly in microglia.
Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is the most relevant animal model to study demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis. EAE can be induced by active (active EAE) or passive (at-EAE) transfer of activated T cells in several species and strains of rodents. However, histological features of at-EAE model in C57BL/6 are poorly described. The aim of this study was to characterize the neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative responses of at-EAE in C57BL/6 mice by histological techniques and compare them with that observed in the active EAE model. To develop the at-EAE, splenocytes from active EAE female mice were harvested and cultured in presence of MOG(35-55) and IL-12, and then injected intraperitoneally in recipient female C57BL6/J mice. In both models, the development of EAE was similar except for starting before the onset of symptoms and presenting a higher EAE cumulative score in the at-EAE model. Spinal cord histological examination revealed an increased glial activation as well as more extensive demyelinating areas in the at-EAE than in the active EAE model. Although inflammatory infiltrates composed by macrophages and T lymphocytes were found in the spinal cord and brain of both models, B lymphocytes were significantly increased in the at-EAE model. The co-localization of these B cells with IgG and their predominant distribution in areas of demyelination would suggest that IgG-secreting B cells are involved in the neurodegenerative processes associated with at-EAE.
Neuron-microglia co-cultures treated with pro-inflammatory agents are a useful tool to study neuroinflammation in vitro, where to test the potential neuroprotective effect of anti-inflammatory compounds. However, a great diversity of experimental conditions can be found in the literature, making difficult to select the working conditions when considering this approach for the first time. We compared the use of neuron-primary microglia and neuron-BV2 cells (a microglial cell line) co-cultures, using different neuron:microglia ratios, treatments and time post-treatment to induce glial activation and derived neurotoxicity. We show that each model requires different experimental conditions, but that both neuron-BV2 and neuron-primary microglia LPS/IFN-?-treated co-cultures are good to study the potential neuroprotective effect of anti-inflammatory agents. The contribution of different pro-inflammatory parameters in the neurotoxicity induced by reactive microglial cells was determined. IL-10 pre-treatment completely inhibited LPS/IFN-?-induced TNF-? and IL-6 release, and COX-2 expression both in BV2 and primary microglial cultures, but not NO production and iNOS expression. However, LPS/IFN-? induced neurotoxicity was not inhibited in IL-10 pre-treated co-cultures. The inhibition of NO production using the specific iNOS inhibitor 1400 W totally abolished the neurotoxic effect of LPS/IFN-?, suggesting a major role for NO in the neurotoxic effect of activated microglia. Consequently, among the anti-inflammatory agents, special attention should be paid to compounds that inhibit NO production.
In physiological conditions, it is postulated that neurons control microglial reactivity through a series of inhibitory mechanisms, involving either cell contact-dependent, soluble-factor-dependent or neurotransmitter-associated pathways. In the current study, we focus on CD200R1, a microglial receptor involved in one of these cell contact-dependent mechanisms. CD200R1 activation by its ligand, CD200 (mainly expressed by neurons in the central nervous system),is postulated to inhibit the pro-inflammatory phenotype of microglial cells, while alterations in CD200-CD200R1 signalling potentiate this phenotype. Little is known about the regulation of CD200R1 expression in microglia or possible alterations in the presence of pro-inflammatory stimuli.
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