The role of convergent ion channel pathways in microglial phenotypes: a systematic review of the implications for neurological and psychiatric disorders.
ABSTRACT: Increases in the activated state of microglia, the main neuroimmune cells, are widely reported in the brains of patients with neurological and psychiatric disorders. Microglia transform from the resting to the activated state by sensing their environment, aided by a variety of ion channels. To examine the effect of ion channels on microglial phenotypes, we conducted a systematic review of immunohistochemical analyses of these neuroimmune cells in animal models following administration of ion channel antagonists, compared to control conditions. A systematic search of the PubMed and Web of Science electronic databases using the PRISMA and WHO methodologies for systematic reviews yielded 15 original peer-reviewed studies. The majority (13 out of 15) of these studies reported a decrease in microglial activated state after ion signaling pharmacological blockade. The studies provide evidence that acute administration of ion channel antagonists leads to a reduction in microglial activation in rodent brains in the models for epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, inflammation, pain, ischemia, and brain and spinal cord injury. Future research should explore microglial-specific druggable targets for neurological and psychiatric disorders. The investigation of acute and chronic administration of ion channel antagonists in microglial phenotypes in primates and the development of microglia-like cells derived from human stem cells could be valuable sources in this direction.
Project description:Recent studies have implicated microglia-the resident immune cells of the brain-in the pathophysiology of alcoholism. Indeed, post-mortem alcoholic brains show increased microglial markers and increased immune gene expression; however, the effects of ethanol on microglial functioning and how this impacts the brain remain unclear. In this present study, we investigate the effects of acute binge ethanol on microglia and how microglial depletion changes the brain neuroimmune response to acute binge ethanol withdrawal.C57BL/6J mice were treated intragastrically with acute binge ethanol for time course and dose-response studies. Cultured mouse BV2 microglia-like cells were treated with ethanol in vitro for time course studies. Mice were also administered the colony stimulating factor 1 receptor (CSF1R) inhibitor PLX5622 to deplete microglia from the brain. These mice were subsequently treated with acute binge ethanol and sacrificed during withdrawal. Brain and BV2 mRNA were isolated and assessed using RT-PCR to examine expression of microglial and neuroimmune genes.Acute binge ethanol biphasically changed microglial (e.g., Iba1, CD68) gene expression, with initial decreases during intoxication and subsequent increases during withdrawal. Acute ethanol withdrawal dose dependently increased neuroimmune gene (e.g., TNF?, Ccl2, IL-1ra, IL-4) expression beginning at high doses. BV2 cells showed biphasic changes in pro-inflammatory (e.g., TNF?, Ccl2) gene expression following ethanol treatment in vitro. Administration of PLX5622 depleted microglia from the brains of mice. Although some neuroimmune genes were reduced by microglial depletion, many others were unchanged. Microglial depletion blunted pro-inflammatory (e.g., TNF?, Ccl2) gene expression and enhanced anti-inflammatory (e.g., IL-1ra, IL-4) gene expression during acute binge ethanol withdrawal.These studies find acute binge ethanol withdrawal increases microglial and neuroimmune gene expression. Ethanol exposure also increases microglial pro-inflammatory gene expression in vitro. Furthermore, microglial depletion decreases expression of microglia-specific genes but has little effect on expression of many other neuroimmune signaling genes. Microglial depletion blunted the acute binge ethanol withdrawal induction of pro-inflammatory genes and enhanced induction of anti-inflammatory genes. These findings indicate microglia impact the brain response to acute binge ethanol withdrawal.
Project description:We investigated the effects of the administration of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) post-traumatic brain injury (TBI) on reducing neuroinflammation. TBI was induced by cortical contusion injury in Sprague Dawley rats. Either DHA (16?mg/kg in dimethyl sulfoxide) or vehicle dimethyl sulfoxide (1?ml/kg) was administered intraperitonially at 5?min after TBI, followed by a daily dose for 3 to 21 days. TBI triggered activation of microglia or macrophages, detected by an increase of Iba1 positively stained microglia or macrophages in peri-lesion cortical tissues at 3, 7, and 21 days post-TBI. The inflammatory response was further characterized by expression of the proinflammatory marker CD16/32 and the anti-inflammatory marker CD206 in Iba1(+) microglia or macrophages. DHA-treated brains showed significantly fewer CD16/32(+) microglia or macrophages, but an increased CD206(+) phagocytic microglial or macrophage population. Additionally, DHA treatment revealed a shift in microglial or macrophage morphology from the activated, amoeboid-like state into the more permissive, surveillant state. Furthermore, activated Iba1(+) microglial or macrophages were associated with neurons expressing the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress marker CHOP at 3 days post-TBI, and the administration of DHA post-TBI concurrently reduced ER stress and the associated activation of Iba1(+) microglial or macrophages. There was a decrease in nuclear translocation of activated nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells protein at 3 days in DHA-treated tissue and reduced neuronal degeneration in DHA-treated brains at 3, 7, and 21 days after TBI. In summary, our study demonstrated that TBI mediated inflammatory responses are associated with increased neuronal ER stress and subsequent activation of microglia or macrophages. DHA administration reduced neuronal ER stress and subsequent association with microglial or macrophage polarization after TBI, demonstrating its therapeutic potential to ameliorate TBI-induced cellular pathology.
Project description:Recent genetic studies suggest a central role for innate immunity in Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathogenesis, wherein microglia orchestrate neuroinflammation. Kv1.3, a voltage-gated potassium channel of therapeutic relevance in autoimmunity, is upregulated by activated microglia and mediates amyloid-mediated microglial priming and reactive oxygen species production in vitro. We hypothesized that Kv1.3 channel expression is increased in human AD brain tissue. In a blinded postmortem immunohistochemical semi-quantitative analysis performed on ten AD patients and ten non-disease controls, we observed a significantly higher Kv1.3 staining intensity (p = 0.03) and Kv1.3-positive cell density (p = 0.03) in the frontal cortex of AD brains, compared to controls. This paralleled an increased number of Iba1-positive microglia in AD brains. Kv1.3-positive cells had microglial morphology and were associated with amyloid-? plaques. In immunofluorescence studies, Kv1.3 channels co-localized primarily with Iba1 but not with astrocyte marker GFAP, confirming that elevated Kv1.3 expression is limited to microglia. Higher Kv1.3 expression in AD brains was also confirmed by western blot analysis. Our findings support that Kv1.3 channels are biologically relevant and microglia-specific targets in human AD.
Project description:Neuron-microglia interactions have a crucial role in maintaining the neuroimmune system. The balance of neuroimmune system has emerged as an important process in the pathophysiology of depression. However, how neuron-microglia interactions contribute to major depressive disorders has been poorly understood. Herein, we demonstrated that microglia-derived synaptic changes induced antidepressive-like behavior by using microglia-specific signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) knockout (KO) (STAT3<sup>fl/fl</sup>;LysM-Cre<sup>+/-</sup>) mice. We found that microglia-specific STAT3 KO mice showed antidepressive-like behavior in the forced swim, tail suspension, sucrose preference, and open-field tests. Surprisingly, the secretion of macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF) was increased from neuronal cells in the brains of STAT3<sup>fl/fl</sup>;LysM-Cre<sup>+/-</sup> mice. Moreover, the phosphorylation of antidepressant-targeting mediators and brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression were increased in the brains of STAT3<sup>fl/fl</sup>;LysM-Cre<sup>+/-</sup> mice as well as in neuronal cells in response to M-CSF stimulation. Importantly, the miniature excitatory postsynaptic current frequency in the medial prefrontal cortex was increased in STAT3<sup>fl/fl</sup>;LysM-Cre<sup>+/-</sup> mice and in the M-CSF treatment group. Collectively, microglial STAT3 regulates depression-related behaviors via neuronal M-CSF-mediated synaptic activity, suggesting that inhibition of microglial STAT3 might be a new therapeutic strategy for depression.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Microglia are critical mediators of neuroimmune pathology across multiple neurologic disorders. Microglia can be persistently activated or "primed" by Toll-like receptor (TLR) activation, ethanol, stress, and other insults. Thus, strategies to prevent or reverse microglial priming may be beneficial for conditions that involve progressively increasing microglial activation. Microglial depletion with repopulation is emerging as a potential therapy to normalize chronic immune activation. Primary organotypic hippocampal slice culture (OHSC) allows for the study of neuroimmune activation as well as microglial depletion and repopulation without involvement of peripheral immune activation. OHSC undergoes functional maturation and retains cytoarchitecture similar to in vivo. METHODS:OHSC underwent microglial depletion with the CSF1R antagonist PLX3397 with or without repopulation after removal of PLX3397. Immune, trophic, and synaptic gene changes in response to agonists of TLRs 2, 3, 4, 7, and 9 as well as ethanol were assessed in the settings of microglial depletion and repopulation. Gi-DREADD inhibition of microglia was used to confirm select findings seen with depletion. The ability of microglial repopulation to prevent progressive proinflammatory gene induction by chronic ethanol was also investigated. RESULTS:Microglia were depleted (>?90%) by PLX3397 in OHSC. Microglial depletion blunted proinflammatory responses to several TLR agonists as well as ethanol, which was mimicked by Gi-DREADD inhibition of OHSC microglia. Removal of PLX3397 was followed by complete repopulation of microglia. OHSCs with repopulated microglia showed increased baseline expression of anti-inflammatory cytokines (e.g., IL-10), microglial inhibitory signals (e.g., CX3CL1), and growth factors (e.g., BDNF). This was associated with blunted induction (~?50%) of TNF? and IL-1? in response to agonists to TLR4 and TLR7. Further, chronic cycled ethanol from 4?days in vitro (DIV) to 16DIV caused immediate 2-fold inductions of TNF? and IL-1? that grew to ~4-fold of age-matched control slices by 40DIV. This persistent inflammatory gene expression was completely reversed by microglial depletion and repopulation after chronic ethanol. CONCLUSIONS:Microglia in OHSCs mediate proinflammatory responses to TLR agonists and ethanol. Microglial repopulation promoted an anti-inflammatory, trophic neuroenvironment and normalized proinflammatory gene expression. This supports the possibility of microglial depletion with repopulation as a strategy to reverse chronic neuroimmune activation.
Project description:Microglia, the resident immune cells of the central nervous system, exist in either a "resting" state associated with physiological tissue surveillance or an "activated" state in neuroinflammation. We recently showed that ATP is the primary chemoattractor to tissue damage in vivo and elicits opposite effects on the motility of activated microglia in vitro through activation of adenosine A2A receptors. However, whether systemic inflammation affects microglial responses to tissue damage in vivo remains largely unknown. Using in vivo two-photon imaging of mice, we show that injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) at levels that can produce both clear neuroinflammation and some features of sepsis significantly reduced the rate of microglial response to laser-induced ablation injury in vivo. Under proinflammatory conditions, microglial processes initially retracted from the ablation site, but subsequently moved toward and engulfed the damaged area. Analyzing the process dynamics in 3D cultures of primary microglia indicated that only A2A , but not A1 or A3 receptors, mediate process retraction in LPS-activated microglia. The A2A receptor antagonists caffeine and preladenant reduced adenosine-mediated process retraction in activated microglia in vitro. Finally, administration of preladenant before induction of laser ablation in vivo accelerated the microglial response to injury following systemic inflammation. The regulation of rapid microglial responses to sites of injury by A2A receptors could have implications for their ability to respond to the neuronal death occurring under conditions of neuroinflammation in neurodegenerative disorders.
Project description:Although morphine is a gold standard medication, long-term opioid use is associated with serious side effects, such as morphine-induced hyperalgesia (MIH) and anti-nociceptive tolerance. Microglia-to-neuron signalling is critically involved in pain hypersensitivity. However, molecules that control microglial cellular state under chronic morphine treatment remain unknown. Here we show that the microglia-specific subtype of Ca(2+)-activated K(+) (BK) channel is responsible for generation of MIH and anti-nociceptive tolerance. We find that, after chronic morphine administration, an increase in arachidonic acid levels through the ?-opioid receptors leads to the sole activation of microglial BK channels in the spinal cord. Silencing BK channel auxiliary ?3 subunit significantly attenuates the generation of MIH and anti-nociceptive tolerance, and increases neurotransmission after chronic morphine administration. Therefore, microglia-specific BK channels contribute to the generation of MIH and anti-nociceptive tolerance.
Project description:Cav1.2 channels are an L-type voltage-dependent Ca2+ channel, which is specifically blocked by calcium antagonists. Voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels are generally considered to be functional only in excitable cells like neurons and muscle cells, but recently they have been reported to also be functional in non-excitable cells like microglia, which are key players in the innate immune system and have been shown to be involved in the pathophysiology of Parkinson's disease. Here, we show that Cav1.2 channels are expressed in microglia, and that calcium antagonists enhanced the neuroinflammatory M1 transition and inhibited neuroprotective M2 transition of microglia in vitro. Moreover, intensive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons and accompanying behavioural deficits were observed in microglia-specific Cav1.2 knockdown mice intoxicated with MPTP, a neurotoxin that induces Parkinson's disease-like symptoms, suggesting detrimental effects of microglial Cav1.2 blockade on Parkinson's disease. Therefore, microglial Cav1.2 channel may have neuroprotective roles under physiological conditions and may also contribute to recovery from disease conditions.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>Microglia play a pivotal role in the initiation and progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD). We here tested the therapeutic hypothesis that the Ca<sup>2+</sup>-activated potassium channel KCa3.1 constitutes a potential target for treating AD by reducing neuroinflammation.<h4>Methods</h4>To determine if KCa3.1 is relevant to AD, we tested if treating cultured microglia or hippocampal slices with A<i>?</i> oligomer (A<i>?</i>O) activated KCa3.1 in microglia, and if microglial KCa3.1 was upregulated in 5xFAD mice and in human AD brains. The expression/activity of KCa3.1 was examined by qPCR, Western blotting, immunohistochemistry, and whole-cell patch-clamp. To investigate the role of KCa3.1 in AD pathology, we resynthesized senicapoc, a clinically tested KCa3.1 blocker, and determined its pharmacokinetic properties and its effect on microglial activation, A<i>?</i> deposition and hippocampal long-term potentiation (hLTP) in 5xFAD mice.<h4>Results</h4>We found markedly enhanced microglial KCa3.1 expression/activity in brains of both 5xFAD mice and AD patients. In hippocampal slices, microglial KCa3.1 expression/activity was increased by A<i>?</i>O treatment, and its inhibition diminished the proinflammatory and hLTP-impairing activities of A<i>?</i>O. Senicapoc exhibited excellent brain penetrance and oral availability, and in 5xFAD mice, reduced neuroinflammation, decreased cerebral amyloid load, and enhanced hippocampal neuronal plasticity.<h4>Interpretation</h4>Our results prompt us to propose repurposing senicapoc for AD clinical trials, as senicapoc has excellent pharmacological properties and was safe and well-tolerated in a prior phase-3 clinical trial for sickle cell anemia. Such repurposing has the potential to expedite the urgently needed new drug discovery for AD.
Project description:Inflammatory responses in the brain, which can be demonstrated by changes in properties of microglia, the brain-resident macrophages, are a common feature of human neurodegenerative diseases. Different monocyte/macrophage phenotypes have been defined by changes in expression of cytokines, receptors and other markers as a response to different classes of stimuli. Monocytes, macrophages and microglia can have a range of phenotypes with associated properties depending on their microenvironment. Macrophage/microglia polarization states have been defined as classical activation (M1), alternative activation (M2a), type II alternative activation (M2b) or acquired deactivation (M2c). Available markers for identifying microglial phenotypes in human brains are still limited; those available provide incomplete information on the functions or polarization states of microglia observed in tissues from diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis. The most widely used marker to describe activated microglia in human brains, particularly diseased brains, has been HLA-DR, the major histocompatibility complex II protein. HLA-DR-positive microglia can have a wide range of activation morphologies that are affected not only by disease pathology, but also by their differentiation states and brain regions. Two other widely used markers to identify microglia in human brains are ionized calcium binding adaptor molecule-1 and CD68. Although their expression changes in diseased brains, these markers do not show specificity for different phenotypes. Over the years there have been studies with additional markers that attempt to further define microglial properties, particularly in Alzheimer's disease brains. Most studies have employed immunohistochemical techniques to identify microglia in tissue sections, but recent advances in this field have allowed gene expression profiling of microglia upon immediate isolation from brains. We will review which markers might better define different activation phenotypes of microglia in human brains and whether they fit into current microglial polarization schemes.