Innate Immune Functions of Astrocytes are Dependent Upon Tumor Necrosis Factor-Alpha.
ABSTRACT: Acute inflammation is a key feature of innate immunity that initiates clearance and repair in infected or damaged tissues. Alternatively, chronic inflammation is implicated in numerous disease processes. The contribution of neuroinflammation to the pathogenesis of neurological conditions, including infection, traumatic brain injury, and neurodegenerative diseases, has become increasingly evident. Potential drivers of such neuroinflammation include toll-like receptors (TLRs). TLRs confer a wide array of functions on different cell types in the central nervous system (CNS). Importantly, how TLR activation affects astrocyte functioning is unclear. In the present study, we examined the role of TLR2/4 signaling on various astrocyte functions (i.e., proliferation, pro-inflammatory mediator production, regulatory mechanisms, etc) by stimulating astrocytes with potent exogenous TLR2/4 agonist, bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Newborn astrocytes were derived from WT, Tnf?-/-, Il1?-/-/Il1?-/-, and Tlr2-/-/Tlr4-/- mice as well as Sprague Dawley rats for all in vitro studies. LPS activated mRNA expression of different pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines in time- and concentration-dependent manners, and upregulated the proliferation of astrocytes based on increased 3H-thymidine update. Following LPS-mediated TLR2/4 activation, TNF-? and IL-1? self-regulated and modulated the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. Polyclonal antibodies against TNF-? suppressed TLR2/4-mediated upregulation of astrocyte proliferation, supporting an autocrine/paracrine role of TNF-? on astrocyte proliferation. Astrocytes perform classical innate immune functions, which contradict the current paradigm that microglia are the main immune effector cells of the CNS. TNF-? plays a pivotal role in the LPS-upregulated astrocyte activation and proliferation, supporting their critical roles in in CNS pathogenesis.
Project description:Microglia rapidly mount an inflammatory response to pathogens in the central nervous system (CNS). Heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) have been attributed various roles in inflammation. To elucidate the relevance of microglial HSPGs in a pro-inflammatory response we isolated microglia from mice overexpressing heparanase (Hpa-tg), the HS-degrading endoglucuronidase, and challenged them with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a bacterial endotoxin. Prior to LPS-stimulation, the LPS-receptor cluster-of-differentiation 14 (CD14) and Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4; essential for the LPS response) were similarly expressed in Ctrl and Hpa-tg microglia. However, compared with Ctrl microglia, Hpa-tg cells released significantly less tumor necrosis factor-? (TNF?), essentially failed to up-regulate interleukin-1? (IL1?) and did not initiate synthesis of proCD14. Isolated primary astroyctes expressed TLR4, but notably lacked CD14 and in contrast to microglia, LPS challenge induced a similar TNF? response in Ctrl and Hpa-tg astrocytes, while neither released IL1?. The astrocyte TNF?-induction was thus attributed to CD14-independent TLR4 activation and was unaffected by the cells HS status. Equally, the suppressed LPS-response in Hpa-tg microglia indicated a loss of CD14-dependent TLR4 activation, suggesting that microglial HSPGs facilitate this process. Indeed, confocal microscopy confirmed interactions between microglial HS and CD14 in LPS-stimulated microglia and a potential HS-binding motif in CD14 was identified. We conclude that microglial HSPGs facilitate CD14-dependent TLR4 activation and that heparanase can modulate this mechanism.
Project description:The role of the adaptor molecule MyD88 is thought to be independent of Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) signaling. In this report, we demonstrate a previously unknown role of MyD88 in TLR3 signaling in inducing endogenous ligands of TLR2 to elicit innate immune responses. Of the various TLR ligands examined, the TLR3-specific ligand polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (poly I:C), significantly induced TNF production and the upregulation of other TLR transcripts, in particular, TLR2. Accordingly, TLR3 stimulation also led to a significant upregulation of endogenous TLR2 ligands mainly, HMGB1 and Hsp60. By contrast, the silencing of TLR3 significantly downregulated MyD88 and TLR2 gene expression and pro-inflammatory IL1?, TNF, and IL8 secretion. The silencing of MyD88 similarly led to the downregulation of TLR2, IL1?, TNF and IL8, thus suggesting MyD88 to somehow act downstream of TLR3. Corroborating in vitro data, Myd88-/- knockout mice downregulated TNF, CXCL1; and phospho-p65 and phospho-IRF3 nuclear localization, upon poly I:C treatment in a mouse model of skin infection. Taken together, we identified a previously unknown role for MyD88 in the TLR3 signaling pathway, underlying the importance of TLRs and adapter protein interplay in modulating endogenous TLR ligands culminating in pro-inflammatory cytokine regulation.
Project description:In conditions of immunosuppression, the central nervous sty 5ystem (CNS) is the main target tissue for the reactivation of infection by Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease. In experimental T. cruzi infection, interferon gamma (IFN?)+ microglial cells surround astrocytes harboring amastigote parasites. In vitro, IFN? fuels astrocyte infection by T. cruzi, and IFN?-stimulated infected astrocytes are implicated as potential sources of tumor necrosis factor (TNF). Pro-inflammatory cytokines trigger behavioral alterations. In T. cruzi-infected mice, administration of anti-TNF antibody hampers depressive-like behavior. Herein, we investigated the effects of TNF on astrocyte susceptibility to T. cruzi infection and the regulation of cytokine production.Primary astrocyte cultures of neonatal C57BL/6 and C3H/He mice and the human U-87 MG astrocyte lineage were infected with the Colombian T. cruzi strain. Cytokine production, particularly TNF, and TNF receptor 1 (TNFR1/p55) expression were analyzed. Recombinant cytokines (rIFN? and rTNF), the anti-TNF antibody infliximab, and the TNFR1 modulator pentoxifylline were used to assess the in vitro effects of TNF on astrocyte susceptibility to T. cruzi infection. To investigate the role of TNF on CNS colonization by T. cruzi, infected mice were submitted to anti-TNF therapy.rTNF priming of mouse and human astrocytes enhanced parasite/astrocyte interaction (i.e., the percentage of astrocytes invaded by trypomastigote parasites and the number of intracellular parasite forms/astrocyte). Furthermore, T. cruzi infection drove astrocytes to a pro-inflammatory profile with TNF and interleukin-6 production, which was amplified by rTNF treatment. Adding rTNF prior to infection fueled parasite growth and trypomastigote egression, in parallel with increased TNFR1 expression. Importantly, pentoxifylline inhibited the TNF-induced increase in astrocyte susceptibility to T. cruzi invasion. In T. cruzi-infected mice, anti-TNF therapy reduced the number of amastigote nests in the brain.Our data implicate TNF as a promoter of T. cruzi invasion of mouse and human astrocytes. Moreover, the TNF-enriched inflammatory milieu and enhanced TNFR1 expression may favor TNF signaling, astrocyte colonization by T. cruzi and egression of trypomastigotes. Therefore, in T. cruzi infection, a self-sustaining TNF-induced inflammatory circuit may perpetuate the parasite cycle in the CNS and ultimately promote cytokine-driven behavioral alterations.
Project description:In CNS lesions, "reactive astrocytes" form a prominent cellular response. However, the nature of this astrocyte immune activity is not well understood. In order to study astrocytic immune responses to inflammation and injury, we generated mice with conditional deletion of p38? (MAPK14) in GFAP+ astrocytes. We studied the role of p38? signaling in astrocyte immune activation both in vitro and in vivo, and simultaneously examined the effects of astrocyte activation in CNS inflammation. Our results showed that specific subsets of cytokines (TNF?, IL-6) and chemokines (CCL2, CCL4, CXCL1, CXCL2, CXCL10) are critically regulated by p38? signaling in astrocytes. In an in vivo CNS inflammation model of intracerebral injection of LPS, we observed markedly attenuated astrogliosis in conditional GFAPcre p38?(-/-) mice. However, GFAPcre p38?(-/-) mice showed marked upregulation of CCL2, CCL3, CCL4, CXCL2, CXCL10, TNF?, and IL-1? compared to p38?fl/fl cohorts, suggesting that in vivo responses to LPS after GFAPcre p38? deletion are complex and involve interactions between multiple cell types. This finding was supported by a prominent increase in macrophage/microglia and neutrophil recruitment in GFAPcre p38?(-/-) mice compared to p38?fl/fl controls. Together, these studies provide important insights into the critical role of p38? signaling in astrocyte immune activation.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Glial cells are involved in the synaptic elimination process that follows neuronal lesions, and are also responsible for mediating the interaction between the nervous and immune systems. Neurons and glial cells express Toll-like receptors (TLRs), which may affect the plasticity of the central nervous system (CNS). Because TLRs might also have non-immune functions in spinal-cord injury (SCI), we aimed to investigate the influence of TLR2 and TLR4 on synaptic plasticity and glial reactivity after peripheral nerve axotomy. METHODS: The lumbar spinal cords of C3H/HePas wild-type (WT) mice, C3H/HeJ TLR4-mutant mice, C57BL/6J WT mice, and C57BL/6J TLR2 knockout (KO) mice were studied after unilateral sciatic nerve transection. The mice were killed via intracardiac perfusion, and the spinal cord was processed for immunohistochemistry, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), western blotting, cell culture, and reverse transcriptase PCR. Primary cultures of astrocytes from newborn mice were established to study the astrocyte response in the absence of TLR2 and the deficiency of TLR4 expression. RESULTS: The results showed that TLR4 and TLR2 expression in the CNS may have opposite effects on the stability of presynaptic terminals in the spinal cord. First, TLR4 contributed to synaptic preservation of terminals in apposition to lesioned motor neurons after peripheral injury, regardless of major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC I) expression. In addition, in the presence of TLR4, there was upregulation of glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor and downregulation of interleukin-6, but no morphological differences in glial reactivity were seen. By contrast, TLR2 expression led to greater synaptic loss, correlating with increased astrogliosis and upregulation of pro-inflammatory interleukins. Moreover, the absence of TLR2 resulted in the upregulation of neurotrophic factors and MHC I expression. CONCLUSION: TLR4 and TLR2 in the CNS may have opposite effects on the stability of presynaptic terminals in the spinal cord and in astroglial reactions, indicating possible roles for these proteins in neuronal and glial responses to injury.
Project description:Footrot is a common inflammatory bacterial disease affecting the health and welfare of sheep worldwide. The pathogenesis of footrot is complex and multifactorial. The primary causal pathogen is the anaerobic bacterium Dichelobacter nodosus, with Fusobacterium necrophorum also shown to play a key role in disease. Since immune-mediated pathology is implicated, the aim of this research was to investigate the role of the host response in interdigital dermatitis (ID) and footrot. We compared the expression of Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and pro-inflammatory cytokines and the histological appearance of clinically normal in comparison to ID and footrot affected tissues. Severe ID and footrot were characterised by significantly increased transcript levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF? and IL1? and the pattern recognition receptors TLR2 and TLR4 in the interdigital skin. This was reflected in the histopathological appearance, with ID and footrot presenting progressive chronic-active pododermatitis with a mixed lymphocytic and neutrophilic infiltration, gradually increasing from a mild form in clinically normal feet, to moderate in ID and to a focally severe form with frequent areas of purulence in footrot. Stimulation with F. necrophorum and/or D. nodosus extracts demonstrated that dermal fibroblasts, the resident cell type of the dermis, also contribute to the inflammatory response to footrot bacteria by increased expression of TNF?, IL1? and TLR2. Overall, ID and footrot lead to a local inflammatory response given that expression levels of TLRs and IL1? were dependent on the disease state of the foot not the animal.
Project description:Inflammation is a common component of acute injuries of the central nervous system (CNS) such as ischemia, and degenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. Glial cells play important roles in local CNS inflammation, and an understanding of the roles for microRNAs in glial reactivity in injury and disease settings may therefore lead to the development of novel therapeutic interventions. Here, we show that the miR-181 family is developmentally regulated and present in high amounts in astrocytes compared to neurons. Overexpression of miR-181c in cultured astrocytes results in increased cell death when exposed to lipopolysaccharide (LPS). We show that miR-181 expression is altered by exposure to LPS, a model of inflammation, in both wild-type and transgenic mice lacking both receptors for the inflammatory cytokine TNF-?. Knockdown of miR-181 enhanced LPS-induced production of pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-?, IL-6, IL-1?, IL-8) and HMGB1, while overexpression of miR-181 resulted in a significant increase in the expression of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10. To assess the effects of miR-181 on the astrocyte transcriptome, we performed gene array and pathway analysis on astrocytes with reduced levels of miR-181b/c. To examine the pool of potential miR-181 targets, we employed a biotin pull-down of miR-181c and gene array analysis. We validated the mRNAs encoding MeCP2 and X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis as targets of miR-181. These findings suggest that miR-181 plays important roles in the molecular responses of astrocytes in inflammatory settings. Further understanding of the role of miR-181 in inflammatory events and CNS injury could lead to novel approaches for the treatment of CNS disorders with an inflammatory component.
Project description:Acute and chronic stressors sensitize or prime the neuroinflammatory response to a subsequent peripheral or central immunologic challenge. However, the neuroimmune process(es) by which stressors prime or sensitize subsequent neuroinflammatory responses remains unclear. Prior evidence suggested that toll-like receptors (TLRs) might be involved in the mediation of primed neuroinflammatory responses, but the role of TLRs during a stressor has never been directly tested. Here, a novel TLR2 and TLR4 antagonist, OxPAPC, was used to probe the contribution of TLRs in the stress sensitization phenomenon. OxPAPC has not previously been administered to the brain, and so its action in blocking TLR2 and TLR4 action in brain was first verified. Administration of OxPAPC into the CNS prior to stress prevented the stress-induced potentiation of hippocampal pro-inflammatory response to a subsequent peripheral LPS challenge occurring 24 h later. In addition, in vivo administration of OxPAPC prior to stress prevented the sensitized pro-inflammatory response from isolated microglia following administration of LPS ex vivo, further implicating microglia as a key neuroimmune substrate that mediates stress-induced sensitized neuroinflammation.
Project description:We previously reported that autocrine TNF-? (TNF) is responsible for JNK pathway activation in a subset of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patient samples, providing a survival/proliferation signaling parallel to NF-?B in AML stem cells (LSCs). In this study, we report that most TNF-expressing AML cells (LCs) also express another pro-inflammatory cytokine, IL1?, which acts in a parallel manner. TNF was produced primarily by LSCs and leukemic progenitors (LPs), whereas IL1? was mainly produced by partially differentiated leukemic blasts (LBs). IL1? also stimulates an NF-?B-independent pro-survival and proliferation signal through activation of the JNK pathway. We determined that co-inhibition of signaling stimulated by both TNF and IL1? synergizes with NF-?B inhibition in eliminating LSCs both ex vivo and in vivo. Our studies show that such treatments are most effective in M4/5 subtypes of AML.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Targeting RNA polymerase-1 (POL1) machinery is a new strategy for suppression of multiple sclerosis (MS) relapse activity. Oral administration of POL1 inhibitor RAM-589.555, which is characterized by high permeability and bioavailability in naïve mice, ameliorates proteolipid protein (PLP)-induced experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) by suppressing activated autoreactive lymphocytes. We assessed the accessibility of RAM-589.555 to the central nervous system (CNS) of EAE-mice and further investigated its immunomodulatory effects on CNS-resident astro- and micro-glial cells in-vitro and in-vivo. METHODS:Effects of RAM-589.555 on activated microglia and astrocyte viability, proliferation, and secretion of neurotrophic factors were assessed in-vitro. The pharmacokinetic of RAM-589.555 was evaluated in the blood and central nervous system (CNS) of EAE-affected mice. High-dimensional single-cell mass cytometry was applied to characterize the effect of RAM-589.555 on EAE-affected mice's CNS-resident micro- and astroglial cells and CNS-infiltrating immune cells, which were obtained seven days after RAM-589.555 administration at EAE onset. Simultaneously, the expression level of pre-rRNA, the POL1 end product, was assessed in blood cells, microglia, and astrocytes to monitor RAM-589.555 effects. RESULTS:RAM-589.555 demonstrated blood and CNS permeability in EAE mice. In-vitro, incubation with 400 nM of RAM-589.555 significantly reduced viability and proliferation of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated microglia by 70% and 45% (p < 0.05), respectively, while tumor necrosis factor ? (TNF?)-activated astrocytes were not affected. The secretion of neurotrophic factors was preserved. Furthermore, 7 days after administration of RAM-589.555 at EAE onset, the level of pre-rRNA transcript in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) was decreased by 38.6% (p = 0.02), while levels of pre-rRNA transcript in microglia and astrocytes remained unchanged. The high-dimensional single-cell mass cytometry analysis showed decreased percentages of CNS-resident microglia and astrocytes, diminished pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1?, IL-6, IL-12, IL-17, TNF?, and IFN?), and an increase of their anti-inflammatory cytokines (IL-4, IL-10, and TGF?) in RAM-589.555-treated compared to vehicle-treated mice (p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS:These data correlate RAM-589.555-induced clinical amelioration and its CNS-permeability to decreased CNS-inflammation, and decreased micro- and astrogliosis, while restoring micro- and astroglial anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective capacity.