Environmental Enrichment Potently Prevents Microglia-Mediated Neuroinflammation by Human Amyloid ?-Protein Oligomers.
ABSTRACT: Microglial dysfunction is increasingly recognized as a key contributor to the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Environmental enrichment (EE) is well documented to enhance neuronal form and function, but almost nothing is known about whether and how it alters the brain's innate immune system. Here we found that prolonged exposure of naive wild-type mice to EE significantly altered microglial density and branching complexity in the dentate gyrus of hippocampus. In wild-type mice injected intraventricularly with soluble A? oligomers (oA?) from hAPP-expressing cultured cells, EE prevented several morphological features of microglial inflammation and consistently prevented oA?-mediated mRNA changes in multiple inflammatory genes both in vivo and in primary microglia cultured from the mice. Microdialysis in behaving mice confirmed that EE normalized increases in the extracellular levels of the key cytokines (CCL3, CCL4, TNF?) identified by the mRNA analysis. Moreover, EE prevented the changes in microglial gene expression caused by ventricular injection of oA? extracted directly from AD cerebral cortex. We conclude that EE potently alters the form and function of microglia in a way that prevents their inflammatory response to human oA?, suggesting that prolonged environmental enrichment could protect against AD by modulating the brain's innate immune system.Environmental enrichment (EE) is a potential therapy to delay Alzheimer's disease (AD). Microglial inflammation is associated with the progression of AD, but the influence of EE on microglial inflammation is unclear. Here we systematically applied in vivo methods to show that EE alters microglia in the dentate gyrus under physiological conditions and robustly prevents microglial inflammation induced by human A? oligomers, as shown by neutralized microglial inflammatory morphology, mRNA changes, and brain interstitial fluid cytokine levels. Our findings suggest that EE alters the innate immune system and could serve as a therapeutic approach to AD and provide new targets for drug discovery. Further, we propose that the therapeutic benefits of EE could extend to other neurodegenerative diseases involving microglial inflammation.
Project description:TREM2 is an innate immune receptor specifically expressed in microglia. Coding variations in TREM2 have been reported to increase the risk for Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other neurodegenerative diseases. While multiple studies support a role for TREM2 in microglial recruitment to amyloid plaques, the chemoattractant factor modulating TREM2-dependent microglial responses has not been defined.Potential binding of oligomeric amyloid-? 1-42 (oA?1-42) to TREM2 was tested by complementary approaches including solid phase binding, surface plasmon resonance and immunoprecipitation assays. The ability of oA?1-42 to activate TREM2 signaling pathways was examined by analyzing the phosphorylation of Syk and Akt in primary microglia as well as TREM2-mediated signaling in a reporter cell system. Lastly, the functional outcome of oA?1-42-TREM2 interaction was tested by examining impacts on microglial migration in vitro and clustering around oA?1-42-bearing brain areas in vivo.We found that oA?1-42 bound to TREM2 with high affinity and activated TREM2-dependent signaling pathway. Neither monomeric nor scrambled A? bound to TREM2 supporting a specific interaction between oA? and TREM2. The disease-associated mutations of TREM2 reduced its binding affinity to oA?1-42. Furthermore, we identified several positively charged amino acids within residues 31-91 of TREM2 that were crucial for its interaction with oA?1-42. Importantly, oA?1-42 promoted microglial migration in vitro and clustering in vivo in a TREM2-dependent manner.Our data establish a critical link between oA?1-42, a major pathological component of AD, and TREM2, a strong genetic risk factor for AD expressed in microglia, and suggest that such interaction contributes to the pathogenic events in AD by modulating microglial responses.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Reactive microglia are associated with ?-amyloid (A?) deposit and clearance in Alzhiemer's Disease (AD). Paradoxically, entocranial resident microglia fail to trigger an effective phagocytic response to clear A? deposits although they mainly exist in an "activated" state. Oligomeric A? (oA?), a recent target in the pathogenesis of AD, can induce more potent neurotoxicity when compared with fibrillar A? (fA?). However, the role of the different A? forms in microglial phagocytosis, induction of inflammation and oxidation, and subsequent regulation of phagocytic receptor system, remain unclear. RESULTS: We demonstrated that A?(1-42) fibrils, not A?(1-42) oligomers, increased the microglial phagocytosis. Intriguingly, the pretreatment of microglia with oA?(1-42) not only attenuated fA?(1-42)-triggered classical phagocytic response to fluorescent microspheres but also significantly inhibited phagocytosis of fluorescent labeled fA?(1-42). Compared with the fA?(1-42) treatment, the oA?(1-42) treatment resulted in a rapid and transient increase in interleukin 1? (IL-1?) level and produced higher levels of tumor necrosis factor-? (TNF-?), nitric oxide (NO), prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and intracellular superoxide anion (SOA). The further results demonstrated that microglial phagocytosis was negatively correlated with inflammatory mediators in this process and that the capacity of phagocytosis in fA?(1-42)-induced microglia was decreased by IL-1?, lippolysaccharide (LPS) and tert-butyl hydroperoxide (t-BHP). The decreased phagocytosis could be relieved by pyrrolidone dithiocarbamate (PDTC), a nuclear factor-?B (NF-?B) inhibitor, and N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), a free radical scavenger. These results suggest that the oA?-impaired phagocytosis is mediated through inflammation and oxidative stress-mediated mechanism in microglial cells. Furthermore, oA?(1-42) stimulation reduced the mRNA expression of CD36, integrin ?1 (Itgb1), and Ig receptor Fc?RIII, and significantly increased that of formyl peptide receptor 2 (FPR2) and scavenger receptor class B1 (SRB1), compared with the basal level. Interestingly, the pre-stimulation with oA?(1-42) or the inflammatory and oxidative milieu (IL-1?, LPS or t-BHP) significantly downregulated the fA?(1-42)-induced mRNA over-expression of CD36, CD47 and Itgb1 receptors in microglial cells. CONCLUSION: These results imply that A? oligomers induce a potent inflammatory response and subsequently disturb microglial phagocytosis and clearance of A? fibrils, thereby contributing to an initial neurodegenerative characteristic of AD. Antiinflammatory and antioxidative therapies may indeed prove beneficial to delay the progression of AD.
Project description:Microglia, the innate immune cells of the CNS, perform critical inflammatory and noninflammatory functions that maintain normal neural function. For example, microglia clear misfolded proteins, elaborate trophic factors, and regulate and terminate toxic inflammation. In Alzheimer's disease (AD), however, beneficial microglial functions become impaired, accelerating synaptic and neuronal loss. Better understanding of the molecular mechanisms that contribute to microglial dysfunction is an important objective for identifying potential strategies to delay progression to AD. The inflammatory cyclooxygenase/prostaglandin E2 (COX/PGE2) pathway has been implicated in preclinical AD development, both in human epidemiology studies and in transgenic rodent models of AD. Here, we evaluated murine models that recapitulate microglial responses to Aβ peptides and determined that microglia-specific deletion of the gene encoding the PGE2 receptor EP2 restores microglial chemotaxis and Aβ clearance, suppresses toxic inflammation, increases cytoprotective insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) signaling, and prevents synaptic injury and memory deficits. Our findings indicate that EP2 signaling suppresses beneficial microglia functions that falter during AD development and suggest that inhibition of the COX/PGE2/EP2 immune pathway has potential as a strategy to restore healthy microglial function and prevent progression to AD.
Project description:Microglial inflammatory activity is thought to be a major contributor to the pathology of neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), and strategies to restrain their behaviour are under active investigation. Classically, anti-inflammatory approaches are aimed at suppressing proinflammatory mediator production, but exploitation of inflammatory resolution, the endogenous process whereby an inflammatory reaction is terminated, has not been fully investigated as a therapeutic approach in AD. In this study, we sought to provide proof-of-principle that the major proresolving actor, formyl peptide receptor 2, Fpr2, could be targeted to reverse microglial activation induced by the AD-associated proinflammatory stimulus, oligomeric ?-amyloid (oA?). The immortalised murine microglial cell line BV2 was employed as a model system to investigate the proresolving effects of the Fpr2 ligand QC1 upon oA?-induced inflammatory, oxidative, and metabolic behaviour. Cytotoxic behaviour of BV2 cells was assessed through the use of cocultures with retinoic acid-differentiated human SH-SY5Y cells. Stimulation of BV2 cells with oA? at 100?nM did not induce classical inflammatory marker production but did stimulate production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), an effect that could be reversed by subsequent treatment with the Fpr2 ligand QC1. Further investigation revealed that oA?-induced ROS production was associated with NADPH oxidase activation and a shift in BV2 cell metabolic phenotype, activating the pentose phosphate pathway and NADPH production, changes that were again reversed by QC1 treatment. Microglial oA?-stimulated ROS production was sufficient to induce apoptosis of bystander SH-SY5Y cells, an effect that could be prevented by QC1 treatment. In this study, we provide proof-of-concept data that indicate exploitation of the proresolving receptor Fpr2 can reverse damaging oA?-induced microglial activation. Future strategies that are aimed at restraining neuroinflammation in conditions such as AD should examine proresolving actors as a mechanism to harness the brain's endogenous healing pathways and limit neuroinflammatory damage.
Project description:Environmental enrichment (EE) is a rodent behavioral paradigm that can model the cognitive benefits to humans associated with intellectual activity and exercise. We recently discovered EE's anti-inflammatory protection of brain microglia against soluble oligomers of human amyloid β-protein (oAβ). Mechanistically, we report that the key factor in microglial protection by EE is chronically enhanced β-adrenergic signaling. Quantifying microglial morphology and inflammatory RNA profiles revealed that mice in standard housing (SH) fed the β-adrenergic agonist isoproterenol experienced similar protection of microglia against oAβ-induced inflammation as did mice in EE Conversely, mice in EE fed the β-adrenergic antagonist propranolol lost microglial protection against oAβ. Mice lacking β1/β2-adrenergic receptors showed no protection of microglia by EE In SH mice, quantification of norepinephrine in hippocampus and interstitial fluid showed that oAβ disrupted norepinephrine homeostasis, and microglial-specific analysis of β2-adrenergic receptors indicated a decreased receptor level. Both features were rescued by EE Thus, enhanced β-adrenergic signaling at the ligand and receptor levels mediates potent benefits of EE on microglial inflammation induced by human Aβ oligomers in vivo.
Project description:Alzheimer's disease is the most prevalent type of dementia and is caused by the deposition of extracellular amyloid-beta and abnormal tau phosphorylation. Neuroinflammation has emerged as an additional pathological component. Microglia, representing the brain's major innate immune cells, play an important role during Alzheimer's. Once activated, microglia show changes in their morphology, characterized by a retraction of cell processes. Systemic inflammation is known to increase the risk for cognitive decline in human neurogenerative diseases including Alzheimer's. Here, we assess for the first time microglial changes upon a peripheral immune challenge in the context of aging and Alzheimer's in vivo, using 2-photon laser scanning microscopy. Microglia were monitored at 2 and 10 days post-challenge by lipopolysaccharide. Microglia exhibited a reduction in the number of branches and the area covered at 2 days, a phenomenon that resolved at 10 days. Systemic inflammation reduced microglial clearance of amyloid-beta in APP/PS1 mice. NLRP3 inflammasome knockout blocked many of the observed microglial changes upon lipopolysaccharide, including alterations in microglial morphology and amyloid pathology. NLRP3 inhibition may thus represent a novel therapeutic target that may protect the brain from toxic peripheral inflammation during systemic infection.
Project description:Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a chronic neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive neuronal loss and cognitive decline. Oligomeric amyloid ? (oA?) is involved in the pathogenesis of AD by affecting synaptic plasticity and inhibiting long-term potentiation. Although several lines of evidence suggests that microglia, the resident immune cells in the central nervous system (CNS), are neurotoxic in the development of AD, the mechanism whether or how oA? induces microglial neurotoxicity remains unknown. Here, we show that oA? promotes the processing of pro-interleukin (IL)-1? into mature IL-1? in microglia, which then enhances microglial neurotoxicity. The processing is induced by an increase in activity of caspase-1 and NOD-like receptor family, pyrin domain containing 3 (NLRP3) via mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) and partially via NADPH oxidase-induced ROS. The caspase-1 inhibitor Z-YVAD-FMK inhibits the processing of IL-1?, and attenuates microglial neurotoxicity. Our results indicate that microglia can be activated by oA? to induce neuroinflammation through processing of IL-1?, a pro-inflammatory cytokine, in AD.
Project description:Microglia, macrophage-like resident immune cells in the brain, possess both neurotoxic and neuroprotective properties and have a critical role in the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD). We examined the function of Interleukin-34 (IL-34), a newly discovered cytokine, on microglia because it reportedly induces proliferation of monocytes and macrophages. We observed that the neuronal cells primarily produce IL-34 and that microglia express its receptor, colony-stimulating factor 1 receptor. IL-34 promoted microglial proliferation and clearance of soluble oligomeric amyloid-? (oA?), which mediates synaptic dysfunction and neuronal damage in AD. IL-34 increased the expression of insulin-degrading enzyme, aiding the clearance of oA?, and induced the antioxidant enzyme heme oxygenase-1 in microglia to reduce oxidative stress, without producing neurotoxic molecules. Consequently, microglia treated with IL-34 attenuated oA? neurotoxicity in primary neuron-microglia co-cultures. In vivo, intracerebroventricular administration of IL-34 ameliorated impairment of associative learning and reduced oA? levels through up-regulation of insulin-degrading enzyme and heme oxygenase-1 in an APP/PS1 transgenic mouse model of AD. These findings support the idea that enhancement of the neuroprotective property of microglia by IL-34 may be an effective approach against oA? neurotoxicity in AD.
Project description:Amyloid plaques, mainly composed of abnormally aggregated amyloid ?-protein (A?) in the brain parenchyma, and neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs), consisting of hyperphosphorylated tau protein aggregates in neurons, are two pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD). A? fibrils and tau aggregates in the brain are closely associated with neuroinflammation and synapse loss, characterized by activated microglia and dystrophic neurites. Genome-wide genetic association studies revealed important roles of innate immune cells in the pathogenesis of late-onset AD by recognizing a dozen genetic risk loci that modulate innate immune activities. Furthermore, microglia, brain resident innate immune cells, have been increasingly recognized to play key, opposing roles in AD pathogenesis by either eliminating toxic A? aggregates and enhancing neuronal plasticity or producing proinflammatory cytokines, reactive oxygen species, and synaptotoxicity. Aggregated A? binds to toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) and activates microglia, resulting in increased phagocytosis and cytokine production. Complement components are associated with amyloid plaques and NFTs. Aggregated A? can activate complement, leading to synapse pruning and loss by microglial phagocytosis. Systemic inflammation can activate microglial TLR4, NLRP3 inflammasome, and complement in the brain, leading to neuroinflammation, A? accumulation, synapse loss and neurodegeneration. The host immune response has been shown to function through complex crosstalk between the TLR, complement and inflammasome signaling pathways. Accordingly, targeting the molecular mechanisms underlying the TLR-complement-NLRP3 inflammasome signaling pathways can be a preventive and therapeutic approach for AD.
Project description:Microglia are the resident macrophages of the central nervous system. They play key roles in brain development, and physiology during life and aging. Equipped with a variety of molecular sensors and through the various functions they can fulfill, they are critically involved in maintaining the brain's homeostasis. In Alzheimer disease (AD), microglia reaction was initially thought to be incidental and triggered by amyloid deposits and dystrophic neurites. However, recent genome-wide association studies have established that the majority of AD risk loci are found in or near genes that are highly and sometimes uniquely expressed in microglia. This leads to the concept of microglia being critically involved in the early steps of the disease and identified them as important potential therapeutic targets. Whether microglia reaction is beneficial, detrimental or both to AD progression is still unclear and the subject of intense debate. In this review, we are presenting a state-of-knowledge report intended to highlight the variety of microglial functions and pathways shown to be critically involved in AD progression. We first address both the acquisition of new functions and the alteration of their homeostatic roles by reactive microglia. Second, we propose a summary of new important parameters currently emerging in the field that need to be considered to identify relevant microglial targets. Finally, we discuss the many obstacles in designing efficient therapeutic strategies for AD and present innovative technologies that may foster our understanding of microglia roles in the pathology. Ultimately, this work aims to fly over various microglial functions to make a general and reliable report of the current knowledge regarding microglia's involvement in AD and of the new research opportunities in the field.