Neuronal production of lipocalin-2 as a help-me signal for glial activation.
ABSTRACT: We explored the hypothesis that injured neurons release lipocalin-2 as a help me signal.In vivo lipocalin-2 responses were assessed in rat focal cerebral ischemia and human stroke brain samples using a combination of ELISA and immunostaining. In vitro, microglia and astrocytes were exposed to lipocalin-2, and various markers and assays of glial activation were quantified. Functional relevance of neuron-to-glia lipocalin-2 signaling was examined by transferring conditioned media from lipocalin-2-activated microglia and astrocytes onto neurons to see whether activated glia could protect neurons against oxygen-glucose deprivation and promote neuroplasticity.In human stroke samples and rat cerebral ischemia, neuronal expression of lipocalin-2 was significantly increased. In primary cell cultures, exposing microglia and astrocytes to lipocalin-2 resulted in glial activation. In microglia, lipocalin-2 converted resting ramified shapes into a long-rod morphology with reduced branching, increased interleukin-10 release, and enhanced phagocytosis. In astrocytes, lipocalin-2 upregulated glial fibrillary acid protein, brain-derived neurotropic factor, and thrombospondin-1. Conditioned media from lipocalin-2-treated astrocytes upregulated synaptotagmin, and conditioned media from lipocalin-2-treated microglia upregulated synaptophysin and post-synaptic density 95 (PSD95) and protected neurons against oxygen-glucose deprivation.These findings provide proof of concept that lipocalin-2 is released by injured neurons as a help me distress signal that activates microglia and astrocytes into potentially prorecovery phenotypes.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Exposure to increased manganese (Mn) causes inflammation and neuronal injury in the cortex and basal ganglia, resulting in neurological symptoms resembling Parkinson's disease. The mechanisms underlying neuronal death from exposure to Mn are not well understood but involve inflammatory activation of microglia and astrocytes. Expression of neurotoxic inflammatory genes in glia is highly regulated through the NF-?B pathway, but factors modulating neurotoxic glial-glial and glial-neuronal signaling by Mn are not well understood.<h4>Methods</h4>We examined the role of NF-?B in Mn-induced neurotoxicity by exposing purified microglia, astrocytes (from wild-type and astrocyte-specific IKK knockout mice), and mixed glial cultures to varying Mn concentrations and then treating neurons with the conditioned media (GCM) of each cell type. We hypothesized that mixed glial cultures exposed to Mn (0-100 ?M) would enhance glial activation and neuronal death compared to microglia, wild-type astrocytes, or IKK-knockout astrocytes alone or in mixed cultures.<h4>Results</h4>Mixed glial cultures treated with 0-100 ?M Mn for 24 h showed the most pronounced effect of increased expression of inflammatory genes including inducible nitric oxide synthase (Nos2), Tnf, Ccl5, Il6, Ccr2, Il1b, and the astrocyte-specific genes, C3 and Ccl2. Gene deletion of IKK2 in astrocytes dramatically reduced cytokine release in Mn-treated mixed glial cultures. Measurement of neuronal viability and apoptosis following exposure to Mn-GCM demonstrated that mixed glial cultures induced greater neuronal death than either cell type alone. Loss of IKK in astrocytes also decreased neuronal death compared to microglia alone, wild-type astrocytes, or mixed glia.<h4>Conclusions</h4>This suggests that astrocytes are a critical mediator of Mn neurotoxicity through enhanced expression of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, including those most associated with a reactive phenotype such as CCL2 but not C3.
Project description:Neuronal plasticity is regulated by the ovarian steroids estradiol (E2) and progesterone (P4) in many normal brain functions, as well as in acute response to injury and chronic neurodegenerative disease. In a female rat model of axotomy, the E2-dependent compensatory neuronal sprouting is antagonized by P4. To resolve complex glial-neuronal cell interactions, we used the "wounding-in-a-dish" model of neurons cocultured with astrocytes or mixed glia (microglia to astrocytes, 1:3). Although both astrocytes and mixed glia supported E2-enhanced neurite outgrowth, P4 antagonized E2-induced neurite outgrowth only with mixed glia, but not astrocytes alone. We now show that P4-E2 antagonism of neurite outgrowth is mediated by microglial expression of progesterone receptor (Pgr) membrane component 1 (Pgrmc1)/S2R, a putative nonclassical Pgr mediator with multiple functions. The P4-E2 antagonism of neurite outgrowth was restored by add-back of microglia to astrocyte-neuron cocultures. Because microglia do not express the classical Pgr, we examined the role of Pgrmc1, which is expressed in microglia in vitro and in vivo. Knockdown by siRNA-Pgrmc1 in microglia before add-back to astrocyte-neuron cocultures suppressed the P4-E2 antagonism of neurite outgrowth. Conditioned media from microglia restored the P4-E2 activity, but only if microglia were activated by lipopolysaccharide or by wounding. Moreover, the microglial activation was blocked by Pgmrc1-siRNA knockdown. These findings explain why nonwounded cultures without microglial activation lack P4 antagonism of E2-induced neurite outgrowth. We suggest that microglial activation may influence brain responses to exogenous P4, which is a prospective therapy in traumatic brain injury.
Project description:Injuries in the central nervous system (CNS) often causes neuronal loss and glial scar formation. We have recently demonstrated NeuroD1-mediated direct conversion of reactive glial cells into functional neurons in adult mouse brains. Here, we further investigate whether such direct glia-to-neuron conversion technology can reverse glial scar back to neural tissue in a severe stab injury model of the mouse cortex. Using an adeno-associated virus (AAV)-based gene therapy approach, we ectopically expressed a single neural transcription factor NeuroD1 in reactive astrocytes in the injured areas. We discovered that the reactive astrocytes were efficiently converted into neurons both before and after glial scar formation, and the remaining astrocytes proliferated to repopulate themselves. The astrocyte-converted neurons were highly functional, capable of firing action potentials and establishing synaptic connections with other neurons. Unexpectedly, the expression of NeuroD1 in reactive astrocytes resulted in a significant reduction of toxic A1 astrocytes, together with a significant decrease of reactive microglia and neuroinflammation. Furthermore, accompanying the regeneration of new neurons and repopulation of new astrocytes, new blood vessels emerged and blood-brain-barrier (BBB) was restored. These results demonstrate an innovative neuroregenerative gene therapy that can directly reverse glial scar back to neural tissue, opening a new avenue for brain repair after injury.
Project description:One of the unmet clinical needs in demyelinating diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is to provide therapies that actively enhance the process of myelin regeneration (remyelination) in the central nervous system (CNS). Oligodendrocytes, the myelinating cells of the CNS, play a central role in remyelination and originate from oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs). We recently showed that depletion of regulatory T cells (Treg) impairs remyelination in vivo, and that Treg-secreted factors directly enhance oligodendrocyte differentiation. Here we aim to further characterize the dynamics of Treg-enhanced oligodendrocyte differentiation as well as elucidate the cellular components of a murine mixed neuron-glia model. Murine mixed neuron-glia cultures were generated from P2-7 C57BL/6 mice and characterized for percentage of neuronal and glial cell populations prior to treatment at 7 days in vitro (div) as well as after treatment with Treg-conditioned media at multiple timepoints up to 12 div. Mixed neuron-glia cultures consisted of approximately 30% oligodendroglial lineage cells, 20% neurons and 10% microglia. Furthermore, a full layer of astrocytes, that could not be quantified, was present. Treatment with Treg-conditioned media enhanced the proportion of MBP+ oligodendrocytes and decreased the proportion of PDGFR?+ OPCs, but did not affect OPC proliferation or survival. Treg-enhanced oligodendrocyte differentiation was not caused by Treg polarizing factors, was dependent on the number of activation cycles Treg underwent and was robustly achieved by using 5% conditioned media. These studies provide in-depth characterization of a murine mixed neuron-glia model as well as further insights into the dynamics of Treg-enhanced oligodendrocyte differentiation.
Project description:Glial reaction is a common feature of neurodegenerative diseases. Recent studies have suggested that reactive astrocytes gain neurotoxic properties, but exactly how reactive astrocytes contribute to neurotoxicity remains to be determined. Here, we identify lipocalin 2 (lcn2) as an inducible factor that is secreted by reactive astrocytes and that is selectively toxic to neurons. We show that lcn2 is induced in reactive astrocytes in transgenic rats with neuronal expression of mutant human TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) or RNA-binding protein fused in sarcoma (FUS). Therefore, lcn2 is induced in activated astrocytes in response to neurodegeneration, but its induction is independent of TDP-43 or FUS expression in astrocytes. We found that synthetic lcn2 is cytotoxic to primary neurons in a dose-dependent manner, but is innocuous to astrocytes, microglia, and oligodendrocytes. Lcn2 toxicity is increased in neurons that express a disease gene, such as mutant FUS or TDP-43. Conditioned medium from rat brain slice cultures with neuronal expression of mutant TDP-43 contains abundant lcn2 and is toxic to primary neurons as well as neurons in cultured brain slice from WT rats. Partial depletion of lcn2 by immunoprecipitation reduced conditioned medium-mediated neurotoxicity. Our data indicate that reactive astrocytes secrete lcn2, which is a potent neurotoxic mediator.
Project description:The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs) are the most common cause of childhood dementia and are invariably fatal. Early localized glial activation occurs in these disorders, and accurately predicts where neuronal loss is most pronounced. Recent evidence suggests that glial dysfunction may contribute to neuron loss, and we have now explored this possibility in infantile NCL (INCL, CLN1 disease). We grew primary cultures of astrocytes, microglia, and neurons derived from Ppt1 deficient mice (Ppt1-/-) and assessed their properties compared to wildtype (WT) cultures, before co-culturing them in different combinations (astrocytes with microglia, astrocytes or microglia with neurons, all three cell types together). These studies revealed that both Ppt1-/- astrocytes and microglia exhibit a more activated phenotype under basal unstimulated conditions, as well as alterations to their protein expression profile following pharmacological stimulation. Ppt1- /- astrocytes also displayed abnormal calcium signalling and an elevated cytoplasmic Ca2+ level, and a profound defect in their survival. Ppt1-/- neurons displayed decreased neurite outgrowth, altered complexity, a reduction in cell body size, and impaired neuron survival with prolonged time in culture. In co-cultures, the presence of both astrocytes and microglia from Ppt1-/- mice further impaired the morphology of both wild type and Ppt1-/- neurons. This negative influence was more pronounced for Ppt1-/- microglia, which appeared to trigger increased Ppt1-/- neuronal death. In contrast, wild type glial cells, especially astrocytes, ameliorated some of the morphological defects observed in Ppt1-/- neurons. These findings suggest that both Ppt1-/- microglia and astrocytes are dysfunctional and may contribute to the neurodegeneration observed in CLN1 disease. However, the dysfunctional phenotypes of Ppt1-/- glia are different from those present in CLN3 disease, suggesting that the pathogenic role of glia may differ between NCLs.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Astrocytes are the most abundant glial cells in a brain that mediate inflammatory responses and provide trophic support for neurons. We have previously disclosed that paroxetine, a common selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, ameliorates LPS-induced microglia activation. However, it remains elusive for the role of paroxetine in astrocytic responses. METHODS:Isolated primary astrocytes were pretreated with paroxetine and stimulated with different stimuli, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or microglia conditioned medium pre-activated with LPS (M/Lps). Inflammatory and neurotrophic responses, underlying mechanisms and the impact on neuronal survival were assessed. RESULTS:Paroxetine had no impact on LPS-stimulated iNOS, TNF-?, and IL-1? expression, but inhibited M/Lps-induced TNF-? and IL-1? expression in primary astrocytes. Paroxetine suppressed M/Lps- but not LPS-induced activation of NF-?B and had no impact on the activation of MAPKs and STAT3. Incubation with the resulted astrocyte conditioned media caused no change in the viability of SH-SY5Y cells. BDNF and MANF mRNA expressions were upregulated by M/Lps and paroxetine, respectively. However, M/Lps- or LPS-induced extracellular releases of NO, TNF-?, and/or BDNF in astrocytes were in minor amount compared to those by microglia. CONCLUSIONS:Paroxetine ameliorates the reactive microglia-mediated inflammatory responses in astrocytes partially via inhibition of the NF-?B pathway but has no impact on LPS-stimulated astrocyte activation. While the effects of paroxetine on secondary astrocytic responses are not robust compared to its effect on the innate immune responses of microglia, the results together may implicate a therapeutic potential of paroxetine against neuroinflammation-associated neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease.
Project description:We previously reported early and extensive loss of astrocytic connexin 43 (Cx43) in acute demyelinating lesions of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. Because it is widely accepted that autoimmune T cells initiate MS lesions, we hypothesized that infiltrating T cells affect Cx43 expression in astrocytes, which contributes to MS lesion formation. Primary mixed glial cell cultures were prepared from newborn mouse brains, and microglia were isolated by anti-CD11b antibody-conjugated magnetic beads. Next, we prepared astrocyte-rich cultures and astrocyte/microglia-mixed cultures. Treatment of primary mixed glial cell cultures with interferon (IFN) ?, interleukin (IL)-4, or IL-17 showed that only IFN? or IL-17 at high concentrations reduced Cx43 protein levels. Upon treatment of astrocyte-rich cultures and astrocyte/microglia-mixed cultures with IFN?, Cx43 mRNA/protein levels and the function of gap junctions were reduced only in astrocyte/microglia-mixed cultures. IFN?-treated microglia-conditioned media and IL-1?, which was markedly increased in IFN?-treated microglia-conditioned media, reduced Cx43 protein levels in astrocyte-rich cultures. Finally, we confirmed that Th1 cell-conditioned medium decreased Cx43 protein levels in mixed glial cell cultures. These findings suggest that Th1 cell-derived IFN? activates microglia to release IL-1? that reduces Cx43 gap junctions in astrocytes. Thus, Th1-dominant inflammatory states disrupt astrocytic intercellular communication and may exacerbate MS.
Project description:Huntington's disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant inherited neurodegenerative disorder that is caused by a CAG expansion in the Huntingtin (HTT) gene, leading to HTT inclusion formation in the brain. The mutant huntingtin protein (mHTT) is ubiquitously expressed and therefore nuclear inclusions could be present in all brain cells. The effects of nuclear inclusion formation have been mainly studied in neurons, while the effect on glia has been comparatively disregarded. Astrocytes, microglia, and oligodendrocytes are glial cells that are essential for normal brain function and are implicated in several neurological diseases. Here we examined the number of nuclear mHTT inclusions in both neurons and various types of glia in the two brain areas that are the most affected in HD, frontal cortex, and striatum. We compared nuclear mHTT inclusion body formation in three HD mouse models that express either full-length HTT or an N-terminal exon1 fragment of mHTT, and we observed nuclear inclusions in neurons, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and microglia. When studying the frequency of cells with nuclear inclusions in mice, we found that half of the population of neurons contained nuclear inclusions at the disease end stage, whereas the proportion of GFAP-positive astrocytes and oligodendrocytes having a nuclear inclusion was much lower, while microglia hardly showed any nuclear inclusions. Nuclear inclusions were also present in neurons and all studied glial cell types in human patient material. This is the first report to compare nuclear mHTT inclusions in glia and neurons in different HD mouse models and HD patient brains. GLIA 2016;65:50-61.
Project description:The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs or Batten disease) are a group of inherited, fatal neurodegenerative disorders of childhood. In these disorders, glial (microglial and astrocyte) activation typically occurs early in disease progression and predicts where neuron loss subsequently occurs. We have found that in the most common juvenile form of NCL (CLN3 disease or JNCL) this glial response is less pronounced in both mouse models and human autopsy material, with the morphological transformation of both astrocytes and microglia severely attenuated or delayed. To investigate their properties, we isolated glia and neurons from Cln3-deficient mice and studied their basic biology in culture. Upon stimulation, both Cln3-deficient astrocytes and microglia also showed an attenuated ability to transform morphologically, and an altered protein secretion profile. These defects were more pronounced in astrocytes, including the reduced secretion of a range of neuroprotective factors, mitogens, chemokines and cytokines, in addition to impaired calcium signalling and glutamate clearance. Cln3-deficient neurons also displayed an abnormal organization of their neurites. Most importantly, using a co-culture system, Cln3-deficient astrocytes and microglia had a negative impact on the survival and morphology of both Cln3-deficient and wildtype neurons, but these effects were largely reversed by growing mutant neurons with healthy glia. These data provide evidence that CLN3 disease astrocytes are functionally compromised. Together with microglia, they may play an active role in neuron loss in this disorder and can be considered as potential targets for therapeutic interventions.