Central nervous system fibrosis is associated with fibrocyte-like infiltrates.
ABSTRACT: Fibrotic wall formation is essential for limiting pathogen dissemination during brain abscess development. However, little is known about the regulation of fibrotic processes in the central nervous system (CNS). Most CNS injury responses are associated with hypertrophy of resident astrocytes, a process termed reactive gliosis. Studies of fibrosis outside the CNS have identified two bone marrow-derived cell types, fibrocytes and alternatively activated M2 macrophages, as key mediators of fibrosis. The current study used bone marrow chimeras generated from green fluorescent protein transgenic mice to evaluate the appearance of these cell types and whether bone marrow-derived cells were capable of acquiring fibrotic characteristics during brain abscess development. Immunofluorescence staining revealed partial overlap between green fluorescent protein, ?-smooth muscle actin, and procollagen, suggesting that a population of cells forming the brain abscess capsule originate from a bone marrow precursor. In addition, the influx of fibrocyte-like cells into brain abscesses immediately preceded the onset of fibrotic encapsulation. Fibrotic wall formation was also associated with increased numbers of alternatively activated M2 microglia and macrophages. To our knowledge, this is the first study demonstrating that bone marrow-derived infiltrates are capable of expressing fibrotic molecules during CNS inflammation.
Project description:MyD88 KO (knockout) mice are exquisitely sensitive to CNS (central nervous system) infection with Staphylococcus aureus, a common aetiological agent of brain abscess, exhibiting global defects in innate immunity and exacerbated tissue damage. However, since brain abscesses are typified by the involvement of both activated CNS-resident and infiltrating immune cells, in our previous studies it has been impossible to determine the relative contribution of MyD88-dependent signalling in the CNS compared with the peripheral immune cell compartments. In the present study we addressed this by examining the course of S. aureus infection in MyD88 bone marrow chimaera mice. Interestingly, chimaeras where MyD88 was present in the CNS, but not bone marrow-derived cells, mounted pro-inflammatory mediator expression profiles and neutrophil recruitment equivalent to or exceeding that detected in WT (wild-type) mice. These results implicate CNS MyD88 as essential in eliciting the initial wave of inflammation during the acute response to parenchymal infection. Microarray analysis of infected MyD88 KO compared with WT mice revealed a preponderance of differentially regulated genes involved in apoptotic pathways, suggesting that the extensive tissue damage characteristic of brain abscesses from MyD88 KO mice could result from dysregulated apoptosis. Collectively, the findings of the present study highlight a novel mechanism for CNS-resident cells in initiating a protective innate immune response in the infected brain and, in the absence of MyD88 in this compartment, immunity is compromised.
Project description:M2-polarized macrophages, also known as alternatively activated macrophages, have long been associated with pulmonary fibrosis; however, the mechanism has not been fully defined. Gab1 and Gab2 proteins belong to the Gab family of adaptors and are integral components of the signal specificity in response to various extracellular stimuli. In this report, we found that levels of both Gab1 and Gab2 were elevated in M2-polarized macrophages isolated from bleomycin-induced fibrotic lungs. In vitro Gab1/2 deficiency in bone marrow-derived macrophages abrogated IL-4-mediated M2 polarization. Furthermore, in vivo conditional removal of Gab1 (Gab1MyKO) and germ line knock-out of Gab2 (Gab2-/-) in macrophages prevented a bias toward the M2 phenotype and attenuated bleomycin-induced fibrotic lung remodeling. In support of these observations, Gab1/2 were involved in responses predominated by IL-4 signaling, an essential determinant for macrophage M2 polarization. Further investigation revealed that both Gab1 and -2 are recruited to the IL-4 receptor, synergistically enhancing downstream signal amplification but conferring IL-4 signal preference. Mechanistically, the loss of Gab1 attenuated AKT activation, whereas the absence of Gab2 suppressed STAT6 activation in response to IL-4 stimulation, both of which are commonly attributed to M2-driven pulmonary fibrosis in mice. Taken together, these observations define a non-redundant role of Gab docking proteins in M2 polarization, adding critical insights into the pathogenesis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Project description:A major question for gene therapy in brain concerns methods to administer therapeutic genes in a uniform manner over major portions of the brain. A second question in neuroimmunology concerns the extent to which monocytes migrate to the CNS in degenerative disorders. Here we show that CD11b+ cells (largely monocytes) isolated from the bone marrow of GFP (green fluorescent protein)-expressing donors spontaneously home to compacted amyloid plaques in the brain. Injections of these cells as a single pulse show a rapid clearance from circulation (90 min half-life) and tissue residence half-lives of approximately 3 d. The uptake into brain was minimal in nontransgenic mice. In transgenic mice containing amyloid deposits, uptake was dramatically increased and associated with a corresponding decrease in monocyte uptake into peripheral organs compared to nontransgenic littermates. Twice weekly infusions of the CD11b+ bone marrow cells transfected with a genetically engineered form of the protease neprilysin completely arrest amyloid deposition in an aggressively depositing transgenic model. Exploiting the natural homing properties of peripherally derived blood cells to deliver therapeutic genes has the advantages of access to the entire CNS, expression largely restricted to sites of injury, low risk of immune reactivity, and fading of expression if adverse reactions are encountered. These observations support the feasibility of testing autologous monocytes for application of therapeutic genes in human CNS disease. Moreover, these data support the results from bone marrow grafts that circulating CD11b+ cells can enter the CNS without requiring the use of lethal irradiation.
Project description:THE INFLAMMATORY RESPONSE FOLLOWING ISCHEMIC STROKE IS DOMINATED BY INNATE IMMUNE CELLS: resident microglia and blood-derived macrophages. The ambivalent role of these cells in stroke outcome might be explained in part by the acquisition of distinct functional phenotypes: classically (M1) and alternatively activated (M2) macrophages. To shed light on the crosstalk between hypoxic neurons and macrophages, an in vitro model was set up in which bone marrow-derived macrophages were co-cultured with hippocampal slices subjected to oxygen and glucose deprivation. The results showed that macrophages provided potent protection against neuron cell loss through a paracrine mechanism, and that they expressed M2-type alternative polarization. These findings raised the possibility of using bone marrow-derived M2 macrophages in cellular therapy for stroke. Therefore, 2 million M2 macrophages (or vehicle) were intravenously administered during the subacute stage of ischemia (D4) in a model of transient middle cerebral artery occlusion. Functional neuroscores and magnetic resonance imaging endpoints (infarct volumes, blood-brain barrier integrity, phagocytic activity assessed by iron oxide uptake) were longitudinally monitored for 2 weeks. This cell-based treatment did not significantly improve any outcome measure compared with vehicle, suggesting that this strategy is not relevant to stroke therapy.
Project description:Circulating fibrocytes play a key role in the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis. Fibrocytes are bone marrow-derived leukocytes, which enter the lungs in response to their chemoattractant CXCL12 and differentiate into fibroblasts or myofibroblasts, leading to excess deposition of the collagen-rich extracellular matrix. Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 and MMP-2, secreted by fibrocytes, degrade the subendothelial basement membrane and promote fibrocyte influx into the lungs. Here, we demonstrate that R1R2, a novel peptide derived from the bacterial adhesin SFS, attenuates pulmonary fibrosis by preventing the differentiation of fibrocytes into myofibroblasts and by reducing the invasion of fibrocytes through basement membrane-like proteins. Moreover, our findings reveal dual regulation of R1R2 on MMP-9 through reduced enzymatic activity on gelatin and increased cleavage of CXCL12. These data suggest that R1R2 has potent anti-fibrotic effects against pulmonary fibrosis.
Project description:Inflammation attenuates gap junction (GJ) communication in cultured astrocytes. Here we used a well-characterized model of experimental brain abscess as a tool to query effects of the CNS inflammatory milieu on astrocyte GJ communication and electrophysiological properties. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings were performed on green fluorescent protein (GFP)-positive astrocytes in acute brain slices from glial fibrillary acidic protein-GFP mice at 3 or 7 d after Staphylococcus aureus infection in the striatum. Astrocyte GJ communication was significantly attenuated in regions immediately surrounding the abscess margins and progressively increased to levels typical of uninfected brain with increasing distance from the abscess proper. Conversely, astrocytes bordering the abscess demonstrated hemichannel activity as evident by enhanced ethidium bromide (EtBr) uptake that could be blocked by several pharmacological inhibitors, including the connexin 43 (Cx43) mimetic peptide Gap26, carbenoxolone, the pannexin1 (Panx1) mimetic peptide (10)Panx1, and probenecid. However, hemichannel opening was transient with astrocytic EtBr uptake observed near the abscess at day 3 but not day 7 after infection. The region-dependent pattern of hemichannel activity at day 3 directly correlated with increases in Cx43, Cx30, Panx1, and glutamate transporter expression (glial L-glutamate transporter and L-glutamate/L-aspartate transporter) along the abscess margins. Changes in astrocyte resting membrane potential and input conductance correlated with the observed changes in GJ communication and hemichannel activity. Collectively, these findings indicate that astrocyte coupling and electrical properties are most dramatically affected near the primary inflammatory site and reveal an opposing relationship between the open states of GJ channels versus hemichannels during acute infection. This relationship may extend to other CNS diseases typified with an inflammatory component.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Activated fibroblasts (myofibroblasts) play a critical role in cardiac fibrosis; however, their origin in the diseased heart remains unclear, warranting further investigation. Recent studies suggest the contribution of bone marrow fibroblast progenitor cells (BM-FPCs) in pressure overload-induced cardiac fibrosis. We have previously shown that interleukin-10 (IL10) suppresses pressure overload-induced cardiac fibrosis; however, the role of IL10 in inhibition of BM-FPC-mediated cardiac fibrosis is not known. We hypothesized that IL10 inhibits pressure overload-induced homing of BM-FPCs to the heart and their transdifferentiation to myofibroblasts and thus attenuates cardiac fibrosis. METHODS:Pressure overload was induced in wild-type (WT) and IL10 knockout (IL10KO) mice by transverse aortic constriction. To determine the bone marrow origin, chimeric mice were created with enhanced green fluorescent protein WT mice marrow to the IL10KO mice. For mechanistic studies, FPCs were isolated from mouse bone marrow. RESULTS:Pressure overload enhanced BM-FPC mobilization and homing in IL10KO mice compared with WT mice. Furthermore, WT bone marrow (from enhanced green fluorescent protein mice) transplantation in bone marrow-depleted IL10KO mice (IL10KO chimeric mice) reduced transverse aortic constriction-induced BM-FPC mobilization compared with IL10KO mice. Green fluorescent protein costaining with ?-smooth muscle actin or collagen 1? in left ventricular tissue sections of IL10KO chimeric mice suggests that myofibroblasts were derived from bone marrow after transverse aortic constriction. Finally, WT bone marrow transplantation in IL10KO mice inhibited transverse aortic constriction-induced cardiac fibrosis and improved heart function. At the molecular level, IL10 treatment significantly inhibited transforming growth factor-?-induced transdifferentiation and fibrotic signaling in WT BM-FPCs in vitro. Furthermore, fibrosis-associated microRNA (miRNA) expression was highly upregulated in IL10KO-FPCs compared with WT-FPCs. Polymerase chain reaction-based selective miRNA analysis revealed that transforming growth factor-?-induced enhanced expression of fibrosis-associated miRNAs (miRNA-21, -145, and -208) was significantly inhibited by IL10. Restoration of miRNA-21 levels suppressed the IL10 effects on transforming growth factor-?-induced fibrotic signaling in BM-FPCs. CONCLUSIONS:Our findings suggest that IL10 inhibits BM-FPC homing and transdifferentiation to myofibroblasts in pressure-overloaded myocardium. Mechanistically, we show for the first time that IL10 suppresses Smad-miRNA-21-mediated activation of BM-FPCs and thus modulates cardiac fibrosis.
Project description:The engraftment of bone marrow-derived cells has been described not only during diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) but also under healthy conditions. However, previous studies pointing to an ample bone marrow cell engraftment used irradiation-induced bone marrow chimeras that evoked severe alterations of the CNS micromilieu including disturbances of the blood brain barrier (BBB), damage of endothelial cells and local induction of proinflammatory cytokines. On the other hand, parabiosis experiments using temporarily joined circulatory systems generally yielded low levels of myeloid cell chimerism thereby potentially underestimating bone marrow cell turnover with the CNS. To avoid these drawbacks we established a protocol using the alkylating agent busulfan prior to allogenic bone marrow transplantation from CX3CR1(GFP/+) donors. This regimen resulted in a stable and high peripheral myeloid chimerism, significantly reduced cytokine induction and preserved BBB integrity. Importantly, bone marrow cell recruitment to the CNS was strongly diminished under these conditions and only weakly enhanced during local neurodegeneration induced by facial nerve axotomy. These results underscore the requirement of local CNS conditioning for efficient recruitment of bone marrow cells, establish busulfan as an alternative treatment for studying bone marrow chimeras and suggest a critical re-evaluation of earlier chimeric studies involving irradiation or parabiosis regimens.
Project description:Nintedanib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor that is specific for platelet-derived growth factor receptors (PDGFR), fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFR), and vascular endothelial growth factor receptors (VEGFR), has recently been approved for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Fibrocytes are bone marrow-derived progenitor cells that produce growth factors and contribute to fibrogenesis in the lungs. However, the effects of nintedanib on the functions of fibrocytes remain unclear.Human monocytes were isolated from the peripheral blood of healthy volunteers. The expression of growth factors and their receptors in fibrocytes was analyzed using ELISA and Western blotting. The effects of nintedanib on the ability of fibrocytes to stimulate lung fibroblasts were examined in terms of their proliferation. The direct effects of nintedanib on the differentiation and migration of fibrocytes were also assessed. We investigated whether nintedanib affected the accumulation of fibrocytes in mouse lungs treated with bleomycin.Human fibrocytes produced PDGF, FGF2, and VEGF-A. Nintedanib and specific inhibitors for each growth factor receptor significantly inhibited the proliferation of lung fibroblasts stimulated by the supernatant of fibrocytes. Nintedanib inhibited the migration and differentiation of fibrocytes induced by growth factors in vitro. The number of fibrocytes in the bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis model was reduced by the administration of nintedanib, and this was associated with anti-fibrotic effects.These results support the role of fibrocytes as producers of and responders to growth factors, and suggest that the anti-fibrotic effects of nintedanib are at least partly mediated by suppression of fibrocyte function.
Project description:The chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (CCL2) is a monocyte chemoattractant protein that mediates macrophage recruitment and migration during peripheral and central nervous system (CNS) inflammation.To determine the impact of CCL2 in inflammation in vivo and to elucidate the CCL2-induced polarization of activated brain microglia, we delivered CCL2 into the brains of wild-type mice via recombinant adeno-associated virus serotype 9 (rAAV-9) driven by the chicken ?-actin promoter. We measured microglial activation using histological and chemical measurement and recruitment of monocytes using histology and flow cytometry.The overexpression of CCL2 in the CNS induced significant activation of brain resident microglia. CD45 and major histocompatibility complex class II immunoreactivity significantly increased at the sites of CCL2 administration. Histological characterization of the microglial phenotype revealed the elevation of "classically activated" microglial markers, such as calgranulin B and IL-1?, as well as markers associated with "alternative activation" of microglia, including YM1 and arginase 1. The protein expression profile in the hippocampus demonstrated markedly increased levels of IL-6, GM-CSF and eotaxin (CCL-11) in response to CCL2, but no changes in the levels of other cytokines, including TNF-? and IFN-?. Moreover, real-time PCR analysis confirmed increases in mRNA levels of gene transcripts associated with neuroinflammation following CCL2 overexpression. Finally, we investigated the chemotactic properties of CCL2 in vivo by performing adoptive transfer of bone marrow-derived cells (BMDCs) isolated from donor mice that ubiquitously expressed green fluorescent protein. Flow cytometry and histological analyses indicated that BMDCs extravasated into brain parenchyma and colabeled with microglial markers.Taken together, our results suggest that CCL2 strongly activates resident microglia in the brain. Both pro- and anti-inflammatory activation of microglia were prominent, with no bias toward the M1 or M2 phenotype in the activated cells. As expected, CCL2 overexpression actively recruited circulating monocytes into the CNS. Thus, CCL2 expression in mouse brain induces microglial activation and represents an efficient method for recruitment of peripheral macrophages.