Microglial glucocorticoid receptors play a pivotal role in regulating dopaminergic neurodegeneration in parkinsonism.
ABSTRACT: Among the pathogenic processes contributing to dopaminergic neuron (DN) death in Parkinson disease (PD), evidence points to non-cell-autonomous mechanisms, particularly chronic inflammation mounted by activated microglia. Yet little is known about endogenous regulatory processes that determine microglial actions in pathological states. We examined the role of glucocorticoid receptors (GRs), activated by glucocorticoids released in response to stress and known to regulate inflammation, in DN survival. Overall GR level was decreased in substantia nigra of PD patients and 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-intoxicated mice. GR changes, specifically in the microglia after MPTP treatment, revealed a rapid augmentation in the number of microglia displaying nuclear localization of GR. Mice with selective inactivation of the GR gene in macrophages/microglia (GR(LysMCre)) but not in DNs (GR(DATCre)) showed increased loss of DNs after MPTP intoxication. This DN loss in GR(LysMCre) mice was not prevented by corticosterone treatment, in contrast to the protection observed in control littermates. Moreover, absence of microglial GRs augmented microglial reactivity and led to their persistent activation. Analysis of inflammatory genes revealed an up-regulation of Toll-like receptors (TLRs) by MPTP treatment, particularly TLR9, the level of which was high in postmortem parkinsonian brains. The regulatory control of GR was reflected by higher expression of proinflammatory genes (e.g., TNF-?) with a concomitant decrease in anti-inflammatory genes (e.g., IL-1R2) in GR(LysMCre) mice. Indeed, in GR(LysMCre) mice, alterations in phosphorylated NF-?B levels indicated its protracted activation. Together, our data indicate that GR is important in curtailing microglial reactivity, and its deregulation in PD could lead to sustained inflammation-mediated DN injury.
Project description:Inflammation is a characteristic feature of Parkinson's disease (PD). We examined the role of TLR9 and its regulation by glucocorticoid receptors (GRs) in degeneration of substantia nigra dopamine neurons (DNs). TLR9 agonist, CpG-ODN, induced DN degeneration in mice lacking GR in microglia but not in controls. TLR9 deletion reduced DN loss in neurotoxin, 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) mouse model of PD. GR regulates TLR9 activation during MPTP neurotoxicity as TLR9 antagonist suppressed increased DN loss in microglia/macrophage GR mutant mice. GR absence in microglia enhanced TLR9 translocation to endolysosomes and facilitated its cleavage leading to pro-inflammatory gene expression. GR-dependent TLR9 activation also triggered DN loss following intranigral injection of mitochondrial DNA. Finally, microglial GR sensitivity to A53T-alpha-synuclein induced DN degeneration as well as decreased microglial GR expression observed in SN of PD brain samples, all suggest that reduced microglial GR activity in SN can stimulate TLR9 activation and DN loss in PD pathology.
Project description:The precise contribution of astrocytes in neuroinflammatory process occurring in Parkinson's disease (PD) is not well characterized. In this study, using GRCx30CreERT2 mice that are conditionally inactivated for glucocorticoid receptor (GR) in astrocytes, we have examined the actions of astrocytic GR during dopamine neuron (DN) degeneration triggered by the neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). The results show significantly augmented DN loss in GRCx30CreERT2 mutant mice in substantia nigra (SN) compared to controls. Hypertrophy of microglia but not of astrocytes was greatly enhanced in SN of these astrocytic GR mutants intoxicated with MPTP, indicating heightened microglial reactivity compared to similarly-treated control mice. In the SN of GR astrocyte mutants, specific inflammation-associated transcripts ICAM-1, TNF-α and Il-1β as well as TNF-α protein levels were significantly elevated after MPTP neurotoxicity compared to controls. Interestingly, this paralleled increased connexin hemichannel activity and elevated intracellular calcium levels in astrocytes examined in acute midbrain slices from control and mutant mice treated with MPP+ . The increased connexin-43 hemichannel activity was found in vivo in MPTP-intoxicated mice. Importantly, treatment of MPTP-injected GRCx30CreERT2 mutant mice with TAT-Gap19 peptide, a specific connexin-43 hemichannel blocker, reverted both DN loss and microglial activation; in wild-type mice there was partial but significant survival effect. In the SN of post-mortem PD patients, a significant decrease in the number of astrocytes expressing nuclear GR was observed, suggesting the participation of astrocytic GR deregulation of inflammatory process in PD. Overall, these data provide mechanistic insights into GR-modulated processes in vivo, specifically in astrocytes, that contribute to a pro-inflammatory state and dopamine neurodegeneration in PD pathology.
Project description:Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra (SN) and the reduction of dopamine levels in the striatum. Although details of the molecular mechanisms underlying dopaminergic neuronal death in PD remain unclear, neuroinflammation is also considered a potent mediator in the pathogenesis and progression of PD. In the present study, we present evidences that microglial NLRP3 inflammasome activation is critical for dopaminergic neuronal loss and the subsequent motor deficits in the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) mouse model of PD. Specifically, NLRP3 deficiency significantly reduces motor dysfunctions and dopaminergic neurodegeneration of MPTP-treated mice. Furthermore, NLRP3 deficiency abolishes MPTP-induced microglial recruitment, interleukin-1β production and caspase-1 activation in the SN of mouse brain. In primary microglia and mixed glial cell cultures, MPTP/ATP treatment promotes the robust assembly and activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome via producing mitochondrial reactive oxygen species. Consistently, 1-methyl-4-phenyl-pyridinium (MPP+) induces NLRP3 inflammasome activation in the presence of ATP or nigericin treatment in mouse bone-marrow-derived macrophages. These findings reveal a novel priming role of neurotoxin MPTP or MPP+ for NLRP3 activation. Subsequently, NLRP3 inflammasome-active microglia induces profound neuronal death in a microglia-neuron co-culture model. Furthermore, Cx3Cr1CreER-based microglia-specific expression of an active NLRP3 mutant greatly exacerbates motor deficits and dopaminergic neuronal loss of MPTP-treated mice. Taken together, our results indicate that microglial NLRP3 inflammasome activation plays a pivotal role in the MPTP-induced neurodegeneration in PD.
Project description:In CNS, glucocorticoids (GCs) activate both GC receptor (GR) and mineralocorticoid receptor (MR), whereas GR is widely expressed, the expression of MR is restricted. However, both are present in the microglia, the resident macrophages of the brain and their activation can lead to pro- or anti-inflammatory effects. We have therefore addressed the specific functions of GR in microglia. In mice lacking GR in macrophages/microglia and in the absence of modifications in MR expression, intraparenchymal injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) activating Toll-like receptor 4 signaling pathway resulted in exacerbated cellular lesion, neuronal and axonal damage. Global inhibition of GR by RU486 pre-treatment revealed that microglial GR is the principal mediator preventing neuronal degeneration triggered by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and contributes with GRs of other cell types to the protection of non-neuronal cells. In vivo and in vitro data show GR functions in microglial differentiation, proliferation and motility. Interestingly, microglial GR also abolishes the LPS-induced delayed outward rectifier currents by downregulating Kv1.3 expression known to control microglia proliferation and oxygen radical production. Analysis of GR transcriptional function revealed its powerful negative control of pro-inflammatory effectors as well as upstream inflammatory activators. Finally, we analyzed the role of GR in chronic unpredictable mild stress and aging, both known to prime or sensitize microglia in vivo. We found that microglial GR suppresses rather than mediates the deleterious effects of stress or aging on neuronal survival. Overall, the results show that microglial GR acts on several key processes limiting pro-inflammatory actions of activated microglia.
Project description:Amplified inflammation is important for the progression of Parkinson's disease (PD). However, how this enhanced inflammation is regulated remains largely unknown. Deletion of DICER leads to progressive dopamine neuronal loss and induces gliosis. We hypothesized that the homeostasis of microglial DICER would be responsible for the amplified inflammation in the mouse model of PD.The microglia or C57BL/6 mice were treated or injected with l-methyl-4-phenyl-l,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) or 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+), respectively, for the model establishment. Microglia and astrocytes sorted by fluorescence-activated cell sorter (FACS) were assayed by quantitative real-time PCR, Western blotting, immunoprecipitation, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), immunohistofluorescence, and mass spectrometry.Microglial DICER was phosphorylated at serine 1456 by c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and downregulated in response to 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+), a causative agent in PD. Inhibition of JNK phosphorylation of DICER at serine 1456 rescued the MPP+-induced DICER degradation, suppressed microglial inflammatory process, and prevented the loss of tyrosine hydroxylase-expressing neurons in the mouse MPTP model.JNK-mediated microglial DICER degradation potentiates inflammation to induce dopaminergic neuronal loss. Thus, preventing microglial DICER degradation could be a novel strategy for controlling neuroinflammation in PD.
Project description:Astrogliosis has long been recognized in Parkinson's disease (PD), the most common neurodegenerative movement disorder. However, the mechanisms of how astroglia become activated remain unclear. Reciprocal interactions between microglia and astroglia play a pivotal role in regulating the activities of astroglia. The purpose of this study is to investigate the mechanism by which microglia regulate astrogliosis by using lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-induced mouse PD models. We found that the activation of microglia preceded astroglia in the substantia nigra of mice treated with either LPS or MPTP. Furthermore, suppression of microglial activation by pharmacological inhibition or genetic deletion of NADPH oxidase (NOX2) in mice attenuated astrogliosis. The important role of NOX2 in microglial regulation of astrogliosis was further mirrored in a mixed-glia culture system. Mechanistically, H2O2, a product of microglial NOX2 activation, serves as a direct signal to regulate astrogliosis. Astrogliosis was induced by H2O2 through a process in which extracellularly generated H2O2 diffused into the cytoplasm and subsequently stimulated activation of transcription factors, STAT1 and STAT3. STAT1/3 activation regulated the immunological functions of H2O2-induced astrogliosis since AG490, an inhibitor of STAT1/3, attenuated the gene expressions of both proinflammatory and neurotrophic factors in H2O2-treated astrocyte. Our findings indicate that microglial NOX2-generated H2O2 is able to regulate the immunological functions of astroglia via a STAT1/3-dependent manner, providing additional evidence for the immune pathogenesis and therapeutic studies of PD.
Project description:CCAAT/enhancer binding protein β (C/EBPβ) is a transcription factor that regulates the expression of important pro-inflammatory genes in microglia. Mice deficient for C/EBPβ show protection against excitotoxic and ischemic CNS damage, but the involvement in this neuroprotective effect of the various C/EBPβ-expressing cell types is not solved. Since C/EBPβ-deficient microglia show attenuated neurotoxicity in culture, we hypothesized that specific C/EBPβ deficiency in microglia could be neuroprotective in vivo. In this study, we have tested this hypothesis by generating mice with myeloid C/EBPβ deficiency.Mice with myeloid C/EBPβ deficiency were generated by crossing LysMCre and C/EBPβfl/fl mice. Primary microglial cultures from C/EBPβfl/fl and LysMCre-C/EBPβfl/fl mice were treated with lipopolysaccharide ± interferon γ (IFNγ) for 6 h, and gene expression was analyzed by RNA sequencing. Gene expression and C/EBPβ deletion were analyzed in vivo in microglia isolated from the brains of C/EBPβfl/fl and LysMCre-C/EBPβfl/fl mice treated systemically with lipolysaccharide or vehicle. Mice of LysMCre-C/EBPβfl/fl or control genotypes were subjected to experimental autoimmune encephalitis and analyzed for clinical signs for 52 days. One- or two-way ANOVA or Kruskal-Wallis with their appropriate post hoc tests were used.LysMCre-C/EBPβfl/fl mice showed an efficiency of C/EBPβ deletion in microglia of 100 and 90% in vitro and in vivo, respectively. These mice were devoid of female infertility, perinatal mortality and reduced lifespan that are associated to full C/EBPβ deficiency. Transcriptomic analysis of C/EBPβ-deficient primary microglia revealed C/EBPβ-dependent expression of 1068 genes, significantly enriched in inflammatory and innate immune responses GO terms. In vivo, microglial expression of the pro-inflammatory genes Cybb, Ptges, Il23a, Tnf and Csf3 induced by systemic lipopolysaccharide injection was also blunted by C/EBPβ deletion. CNS expression of C/EBPβ was upregulated in experimental autoimmune encephalitis and in multiple sclerosis samples. Finally, LysMCre-C/EBPβfl/fl mice showed robust attenuation of clinical signs in experimental autoimmune encephalitis.This study provides new data that support a central role for C/EBPβ in the biology of activated microglia, and it offers proof of concept for the therapeutic potential of microglial C/EBPβ inhibition in multiple sclerosis.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Neuroinflammation plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD). Thus, the development of agents that can control neuroinflammation has been suggested as a promising therapeutic strategy for PD. In the present study, we investigated whether the phosphodiesterase (PDE) 10 inhibitor has anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects in neuroinflammation and PD mouse models. METHODS:Papaverine (PAP) was utilized as a selective inhibitor of PDE10. The effects of PAP on the expression of pro-inflammatory molecules were examined in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated BV2 microglial cells by ELISA, RT-PCR, and Western blot analysis. The effects of PAP on transcription factors were analyzed by the electrophoretic mobility shift assay, the reporter gene assay, and Western blot analysis. Microglial activation and the expression of proinflammatory molecules were measured in the LPS- or MPTP-injected mouse brains by immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR analysis. The effect of PAP on dopaminergic neuronal cell death and neurotrophic factors were determined by immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis. To assess mouse locomotor activity, rotarod and pole tests were performed in MPTP-injected mice. RESULTS:PAP inhibited the production of nitric oxide and proinflammatory cytokines in LPS-stimulated microglia by modulating various inflammatory signals. In addition, PAP elevated intracellular cAMP levels and CREB phosphorylation. Treatment with H89, a PKA inhibitor, reversed the anti-inflammatory effects of PAP, suggesting the critical role of PKA signaling in the anti-inflammatory effects of PAP. We verified the anti-inflammatory effects of PAP in the brains of mice with LPS-induced systemic inflammation. PAP suppressed microglial activation and proinflammatory gene expression in the brains of these mice, and these effects were reversed by H89 treatment. We further examined the effects of PAP on MPTP-injected PD model mice. MPTP-induced dopaminergic neuronal cell death and impaired locomotor activity were recovered by PAP. In addition, PAP suppressed microglial activation and proinflammatory mediators in the brains of MPTP-injected mice. CONCLUSIONS:PAP has strong anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects and thus may be a potential candidate for treating neuroinflammatory disorders such as PD.
Project description:Oxymatrine (OMT), a natural quinoxaline alkaloid extracted from the root of Sophora ?avescens, presents amounts of pharmacological properties including immunomodulation, anti-inflammation, anti-oxidation, and anti-virus. Recent studies tend to focus on its effects on neuroinflammation and neuroprotection in Parkinson's disease (PD) due to its profound anti-in?ammatory effect. In this study, the neuroprotective and anti-neuroinflammatory effects of OMT were investigated in 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1, 2, 3, 6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-stimulated mice and 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+)-induced mice primary microglia. Additionally, mice primary neuron-microglia co-cultures and primary microglia infected with Cathepsin D (CathD)-overexpressed lentivirus were used to clarify whether the neuroprotective effect of OMT was through a CathD-dependent pathway. Results showed that OMT dose-dependently alleviated MPTP-induced motor deficits and conferred significant dopamine (DA) neuroprotection against MPTP/MPP+-induced neurotoxicity. In addition, OMT inhibited MPTP/MPP+-induced microglia activation and the pro-inflammatory cytokines release. Further, OMT down-regulated the expression of CathD, and inhibited the activation of the HMGB1/TLR4 signaling pathway as well as the nuclear translocation of NF-?B both in vivo and in vitro. It is worth noting that overexpression of CathD reversed OMT-targeted inhibition of HMGB1/TLR4/NF-?B signaling and OMT-produced neuroprotection in reconstituted neuron-microglia co-cultures. Our findings indicated that OMT conferred DA neuroprotection and attenuated microglial-mediated neuroinflammation through CathD-dependent inhibition of HMGB1/TLR4/NF-?B signaling pathway. Our study supports a potential role for OMT in ameliorating PD, and proposes that OMT may be useful in the treatment of PD.
Project description:Parkinson's disease (PD), the second most common age-related progressive neurodegenerative disorder, is characterized by dopamine depletion and the loss of dopaminergic (DA) neurons with accompanying neuroinflammation. Zonisamide is an-anti-convulsant drug that has recently been shown to improve clinical symptoms of PD through its inhibition of monoamine oxidase B (MAO-B). However, zonisamide has additional targets, including voltage-gated sodium channels (Nav), which may contribute to its reported neuroprotective role in preclinical models of PD. Here, we report that Nav1.6 is highly expressed in microglia of post-mortem PD brain and of mice treated with the parkinsonism-inducing neurotoxin MPTP. Administration of zonisamide (20?mg/kg, i.p. every 4?h?×?3) following a single injection of MPTP (12.5?mg/kg, s.c.) reduced microglial Nav 1.6 and microglial activation in the striatum, as indicated by Iba-1 staining and mRNA expression of F4/80. MPTP increased the levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-? and gp91phox, and this was significantly reduced by zonisamide. Together, these findings suggest that zonisamide may reduce neuroinflammation through the down-regulation of microglial Nav 1.6. Thus, in addition to its effects on parkinsonian symptoms through inhibition of MAO-B, zonisamide may have disease modifying potential through the inhibition of Nav 1.6 and neuroinflammation.