Toll-like Receptor 2 is Dispensable for an Immediate-early Microglial Reaction to Two-photon Laser-induced Cortical Injury In vivo.
ABSTRACT: Microglia, the resident macrophages in the central nervous system, can rapidly respond to pathological insults. Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) is a pattern recognition receptor that plays a fundamental role in pathogen recognition and activation of innate immunity. Although many previous studies have suggested that TLR2 contributes to microglial activation and subsequent pathogenesis following brain tissue injury, it is still unclear whether TLR2 has a role in microglia dynamics in the resting state or in immediate-early reaction to the injury in vivo. By using in vivo two-photon microscopy imaging and Cx3cr1 (GFP/+) mouse line, we first monitored the motility of microglial processes (i.e. the rate of extension and retraction) in the somatosensory cortex of living TLR2-KO and WT mice; Microglial processes in TLR2-KO mice show the similar motility to that of WT mice. We further found that microglia rapidly extend their processes to the site of local tissue injury induced by a two-photon laser ablation and that such microglial response to the brain injury was similar between WT and TLR2-KO mice. These results indicate that there are no differences in the behavior of microglial processes between TLR2-KO mice and WT mice when microglia is in the resting state or encounters local injury. Thus, TLR2 might not be essential for immediate-early microglial response to brain tissue injury in vivo.
Project description:Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) is a pattern recognition receptor that plays an important role in enabling cells of the innate immune system to recognize conserved structural motifs on a wide array of pathogens including gram-positive bacteria. Although microglia have recently been shown to express TLR2, the functional significance of this receptor in mediating microglial activation remains unknown. To ascertain the importance of TLR2 in microglial responses to S. aureus and its cell wall product peptidoglycan (PGN), we evaluated primary microglia from TLR2 knockout (KO) and wild-type (WT) mice. TLR2 was found to play a pivotal role in PGN recognition and subsequent activation in primary microglia, as demonstrated by the attenuated expression of TNF-alpha, IL-12 p40, MIP-2, and MCP-1 in PGN-treated TLR2 KO microglia compared with WT cells. In contrast, the responses of TLR2 KO and WT microglia to S. aureus were qualitatively similar, indicating that alternative receptors are responsible for recognizing intact bacteria. Microarray analysis confirmed that TLR2 plays a central role in PGN recognition by primary microglia. The expression of MyD88, a central adapter molecule in TLR-dependent signaling, was similar in both TLR2 KO and WT microglia, suggesting that the defect in PGN recognition by the former is not due to alterations in this key signaling intermediate. These findings reveal the complex nature of gram-positive bacterial recognition by microglia, which occurs, in part, through engagement of TLR2.
Project description:Recent studies indicate that Toll-like receptors (TLRs), originally identified as infectious agent receptors, also mediate sterile inflammatory responses during tissue damage. In this study, we investigated the role of TLR2 in excitotoxic hippocampal cell death using TLR2 knock-out (KO) mice. TLR2 expression was up-regulated in microglia in the ipsilateral hippocampus of kainic acid (KA)-injected mice. KA-mediated hippocampal cell death was significantly reduced in TLR2 KO mice compared with wild-type (WT) mice. Similarly, KA-induced glial activation and proinflammatory gene expression in the hippocampus were compromised in TLR2 KO mice. In addition, neurons in organotypic hippocampal slice cultures (OHSCs) from TLR2 KO mouse brains were less susceptible to KA excitotoxicity than WT OHSCs. This protection is partly attributed to decreased expression of proinflammatory genes, such as TNF-? and IL-1? in TLR2 KO mice OHSCs. These data demonstrate conclusively that TLR2 signaling in microglia contributes to KA-mediated innate immune responses and hippocampal excitotoxicity.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Neuraminidase (NA) is a sialidase present, among various locations, in the envelope/membrane of some bacteria/viruses (e.g., influenza virus), and is involved in infectiveness and/or dispersion. The administration of NA within the brain lateral ventricle represents a model of acute sterile inflammation. The relevance of the Toll-like receptors TLR2 and TLR4 (particularly those in microglial cells) in such process was investigated. METHODS:Mouse strains deficient in either TLR2 (TLR2-/-) or TLR4 (TLR4-/-) were used. NA was injected in the lateral ventricle, and the inflammatory reaction was studied by immunohistochemistry (IBA1 and IL-1?) and qPCR (cytokine response). Also, microglia was isolated from those strains and in vitro stimulated with NA, or with TLR2/TLR4 agonists as positive controls (P3C and LPS respectively). The relevance of the sialidase activity of NA was investigated by stimulating microglia with heat-inactivated NA, or with native NA in the presence of sialidase inhibitors (oseltamivir phosphate and N-acetyl-2,3-dehydro-2-deoxyneuraminic acid). RESULTS:In septofimbria and hypothalamus, IBA1-positive and IL-1?-positive cell counts increased after NA injection in wild type (WT) mice. In TLR4-/- mice, such increases were largely abolished, while were only slightly diminished in TLR2-/- mice. Similarly, the NA-induced expression of IL-1?, TNF?, and IL-6 was completely blocked in TLR4-/- mice, and only partially reduced in TLR2-/- mice. In isolated cultured microglia, NA induced a cytokine response (IL-1?, TNF?, and IL-6) in WT microglia, but was unable to do so in TLR4-/- microglia; TLR2 deficiency partially affected the NA-induced microglial response. When WT microglia was exposed in vitro to heat-inactivated NA or to native NA along with sialidase inhibitors, the NA-induced microglia activation was almost completely abrogated. CONCLUSIONS:NA is able to directly activate microglial cells, and it does so mostly acting through the TLR4 receptor, while TLR2 has a secondary role. Accordingly, the inflammatory reaction induced by NA in vivo is partially dependent on TLR2, while TLR4 plays a crucial role. Also, the sialidase activity of NA is critical for microglial activation. These results highlight the relevance of microbial NA in the neuroinflammation provoked by NA-bearing pathogens and the possibility of targeting its sialidase activity to ameliorate its impact.
Project description:The arcuate nucleus (ARC) of the hypothalamus plays a key role in sensing metabolic feedback and regulating energy homeostasis. Recent studies revealed activation of microglia in mice with high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity (DIO), suggesting a potential pathophysiological role for inflammatory processes within the hypothalamus. To further investigate the metabolic causes and molecular underpinnings of such glial activation, we analyzed the microglial activity in wild-type (WT), monogenic obese ob/ob (leptin deficient), db/db (leptin-receptor mutation), and Type-4 melanocortin receptor knockout (MC4R KO) mice on either a HFD or on standardized chow (SC) diet. Following HFD exposure, we observed a significant increase in the total number of ARC microglia, immunoreactivity of ionized calcium binding adaptor molecule 1 (iba1-ir), cluster of differentiation 68 (CD68-ir), and ramification of microglial processes. The ob/ob mice had significantly less iba1-ir and ramifications. Leptin replacement rescued these phenomena. The db/db mice had similar iba1-ir comparable with WT mice but had significantly lower CD68-ir and more ramifications than WT mice. After 2 weeks of HFD, ob/ob mice showed an increase of iba1-ir, and db/db mice showed increase of CD68-ir. Obese MC4R KO mice fed a SC diet had comparable iba1-ir and CD68-ir with WT mice but had significantly more ramifications than WT mice. Intriguingly, treatment of DIO mice with glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists reduced microglial activation independent of body weight. Our results show that diet type, adipokines, and gut signals, but not body weight, affect the presence and activity levels of hypothalamic microglia in obesity.
Project description:Enhanced postnatal care (EPC) increases resilience to adversity in adulthood. Since microglia participate in shaping neural circuits, we asked how ablation of an inflammation-suppressing factor IRF2BP2 (Interferon Regulatory Factor 2 Binding Protein 2) in microglia would affect the responses to EPC. Mice lacking IRF2BP2 in microglia (KO) and littermate controls (WT) were subjected to EPC during the first 3 weeks after birth. EPC reduced anxiety in WT but not KO mice. This was associated with reduced inflammatory cytokine expression in the hypothalamus. Whole genome RNAseq profiling of the hypothalamus identified 101 genes whose expression was altered by EPC: 95 in WT, 11 in KO, with 5 in common that changed in opposite directions. Proteoglycan 4 (Prg4), prostaglandin D2 synthase (Ptgds) and extracellular matrix protease inhibitor Itih2 were suppressed by EPC in WT but elevated in KO mice. On the other hand, the glutamate transporter VGLUT1 (Slc17a7) was increased by EPC in WT but not KO mice. Prostaglandin D2 (PGD2) is known to enhance microglial inflammation and promote Gfap expression. ELISA confirmed reduced PGD2 in the hypothalamus of WT mice after EPC, associated with reduced Gfap expression. Our study suggests that the anxiety-reducing effect of EPC operates by suppressing microglial inflammation, likely by reducing neuronal prostaglandin D2 production.
Project description:Reactive oxygen species (ROS) modulate intracellular signaling but are also responsible for neuronal damage in pathological states. Microglia, the resident CNS macrophages, are prominent sources of ROS through expression of the phagocyte oxidase which catalytic subunit Nox2 generates superoxide ion (O2(.-)). Here we show that microglia also express Nox1 and other components of nonphagocyte NADPH oxidases, including p22(phox), NOXO1, NOXA1, and Rac1/2. The subcellular distribution and functions of Nox1 were determined by blocking Nox activity with diphenylene iodonium or apocynin, and by silencing the Nox1 gene in microglia purified from wild-type (WT) or Nox2-KO mice. [Nox1-p22(phox)] dimers localized in intracellular compartments are recruited to phagosome membranes during microglial phagocytosis of zymosan, and Nox1 produces O2(.-) in zymosan-loaded phagosomes. In microglia activated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), Nox1 produces O2(.-), which enhances cell expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase and secretion of interleukin-1beta. Comparisons of microglia purified from WT, Nox2-KO, or Nox1-KO mice indicate that both Nox1 and Nox2 are required to optimize microglial production of nitric oxide. By injecting LPS in the striatum of WT and Nox1-KO mice, we show that Nox1 also enhances microglial production of cytotoxic nitrite species and promotes loss of presynaptic proteins in striatal neurons. These results demonstrate the functional expression of Nox1 in resident CNS phagocytes, which can promote production of neurotoxic compounds during neuroinflammation. Our study also shows that Nox1- and Nox2-dependent oxidases play distinct roles in microglial activation and that Nox1 is a possible target for the treatment of neuroinflammatory states.
Project description:BACKGROUND:A craniotomy is required to access the brain for tumor resection or epilepsy treatment, and despite precautionary measures, infectious complications occur at a frequency of 1-3%. Approximately half of craniotomy infections are caused by Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) that forms a biofilm on the bone flap, which is recalcitrant to antibiotics. Our prior work in a mouse model of S. aureus craniotomy infection revealed a critical role for myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88) in bacterial containment and pro-inflammatory mediator production. Since numerous receptors utilize MyD88 as a signaling adaptor, the current study examined the importance of Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) and TLR9 based on their ability sense S. aureus ligands, namely lipoproteins and CpG DNA motifs, respectively. We also examined the role of caspase-1 based on its known association with TLR signaling to promote IL-1? release. METHODS:A mouse model of craniotomy-associated biofilm infection was used to investigate the role of TLR2, TLR9, and caspase-1 in disease progression. Wild type (WT), TLR2 knockout (KO), TLR9 KO, and caspase-1 KO mice were examined at various intervals post-infection to quantify bacterial burden, leukocyte recruitment, and inflammatory mediator production in the galea, brain, and bone flap. In addition, the role of TLR2-dependent signaling during microglial/macrophage crosstalk with myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) was examined. RESULTS:TLR2, but not TLR9, was important for preventing S. aureus outgrowth during craniotomy infection, as revealed by the elevated bacterial burden in the brain, galea, and bone flap of TLR2 KO mice concomitant with global reductions in pro-inflammatory mediator production compared to WT animals. Co-culture of MDSCs with microglia or macrophages, to model interactions in the brain vs. galea, respectively, also revealed a critical role for TLR2 in triggering pro-inflammatory mediator production. Similar to TLR2, caspase-1 KO animals also displayed increased S. aureus titers coincident with reduced pro-inflammatory mediator release, suggestive of pathway cooperativity. Treatment of caspase-1 KO mice with IL-1? microparticles significantly reduced S. aureus burden in the brain and galea compared to empty microparticles, confirming the critical role of IL-1? in limiting S. aureus outgrowth during craniotomy infection. CONCLUSIONS:These results demonstrate the existence of an initial anti-bacterial response that depends on both TLR2 and caspase-1 in controlling S. aureus growth; however, neither pathway is effective at clearing infection in the WT setting, since craniotomy infection persists when both molecules are present.
Project description:BACKGROUND: TIR-domain-containing adapter-inducing interferon-? (TRIF) is the sole downstream adaptor of Toll-like receptor (TLR)3, which is one of the major signaling pathways in immune cells leading to neuroinflammation in the central nervous system. Overexpression of TRIF may lead to activation of inflammatory responses, and contribute to pathophysiological progression in both acute and chronic neurodegenerative retinal diseases. In the present study, was aimed to elucidate the contributions of TRIF to optic nerve (ON) regeneration and retinal ganglion cell (RGC) survival following injury to the ON, a widely studied model of central nervous system injury and of degenerative diseases such as glaucoma. METHODS: We used retrograde labeling with a fluorochrome, hydroxystilbamidine (Fluorogold) to evaluate RGC survival, and immunostaining with growth-associated protein-43 to evaluate axon regeneration in an ON crush model. Changes in microglial cytokines following RGC injury was examined with ELISA and real-time PCR. In vivo studies were carried out in wild-type and trif-/- mice. A Transwell co-culture system and migration test were used to mimic the crosstalk between microglia and RGCs. TRIF-associated downstream adaptors were determined by western blotting. RESULTS: Compared with wild-type (WT) mice, TRIF knockout (KO) mice displayed a robust ability to regenerate axons 3 or 7 days after nerve injury. In addition, RGC survival was considerably higher in trif-/- than in WT mice. ON lesion induced less microglial activation in trif-/- than in WT mice. and more WT microglia distorted and migrated toward the foramen opticum. In the transwell system, few trif-/- microglia migrated through the membrane when stimulated by the performed lesion on RGC axons in a transwell system. Inactivation of microglial cells in trif-/- mice was associated with reduced production of inflammatory cytokines, as detected with real-time RT-PCR and ELISA. Furthermore western blot analysis showed that activation of known downstream effectors of TRIF, including TBK1, IKK? and NF-?B, were significantly inhibited by TRIF deficiency. CONCLUSION: Our results indicate that TRIF deficiency promotes ON axon regeneration by attenuating microglial activation and consequently reducing the release of harmful cytokines via NF-?B inactivation.
Project description:Traumatic injury to the spinal cord initiates a series of pathological cellular processes that exacerbate tissue damage at and beyond the original site of injury. This secondary damage includes oxidative stress and inflammatory cascades that can lead to further neuronal loss and motor deficits. Microglial activation is an essential component of these secondary signaling cascades. The voltage-gated proton channel, Hv1, functionally expressed in microglia has been implicated in microglia polarization and oxidative stress in ischemic stroke. Here, we investigate whether Hv1 mediates microglial/macrophage activation and aggravates secondary damage following spinal cord injury (SCI). Following contusion SCI, wild-type (WT) mice showed significant tissue damage, white matter damage and impaired motor recovery. However, mice lacking Hv1 (Hv1-/-) showed significant white matter sparing and improved motor recovery. The improved motor recovery in Hv1-/- mice was associated with decreased interleukin-1?, reactive oxygen/ nitrogen species production and reduced neuronal loss. Further, deficiency of Hv1 directly influenced microglia activation as noted by decrease in microglia numbers, soma size and reduced outward rectifier K+ current density in Hv1-/- mice compared to WT mice at 7 d following SCI. Our results therefore implicate that Hv1 may be a promising potential therapeutic target to alleviate secondary damage following SCI caused by microglia/macrophage activation.
Project description:Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) is an inducible enzyme known for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and neuroprotective effects. However, increased expression of HO-1 during aging and age-related neurodegenerative diseases have been associated to neurotoxic ferric iron deposits. Being microglia responsible for the brain's innate immune response, the aim of this study was to understand the role of microglial HO-1 under inflammatory conditions in aged mice. For this purpose, aged wild type (WT) and LysMCreHmox1?? (HMOX1M-KO) mice that lack HO-1 in microglial cells, were used. Aged WT mice showed higher basal expression levels of microglial HO-1 in the brain than adult mice. This increase was even higher when exposed to an inflammatory stimulus (LPS via i.p.) and was accompanied by alterations in different iron-related metabolism proteins, resulting in an increase of iron deposits, oxidative stress, ferroptosis and cognitive decline. Furthermore, microglia exhibited a primed phenotype and increased levels of inflammatory markers such as iNOS, p65, IL-1?, TNF-?, Caspase-1 and NLRP3. Interestingly, all these alterations were prevented in aged HMOX1M-KO and WT mice treated with the HO-1 inhibitor ZnPPIX. In order to determine the effects of microglial HO-1-dependent iron overload, aged WT mice were treated with the iron chelator deferoxamine (DFX). DFX caused major improvements in iron, inflammatory and behavioral alterations found in aged mice exposed to LPS. In conclusion, this study highlights how microglial HO-1 overexpression contributes to neurotoxic iron accumulation providing deleterious effects in aged mice exposed to an inflammatory insult.