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Iba1 antibody

RRID:AB_2224402

Siglec-H is a microglia-specific marker that discriminates microglia from CNS-associated macrophages and CNS-infiltrating monocytes.

  • Konishi H
  • Glia
  • 2018 Jun 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

Several types of myeloid cell are resident in the CNS. In the steady state, microglia are present in the CNS parenchyma, whereas macrophages reside in boundary regions of the CNS, such as perivascular spaces, the meninges and choroid plexus. In addition, monocytes infiltrate into the CNS parenchyma from circulation upon blood-brain barrier breakdown after CNS injury and inflammation. Although several markers, such as CD11b and ionized calcium-binding adapter molecule 1 (Iba1), are frequently used as microglial markers, they are also expressed by other types of myeloid cell and microglia-specific markers were not defined until recently. Previous transcriptome analyses of isolated microglia identified a transmembrane lectin, sialic acid-binding immunoglobulin-like lectin H (Siglec-H), as a molecular signature for microglia; however, this was not confirmed by histological studies in the nervous system and the reliability of Siglec-H as a microglial marker remained unclear. Here, we demonstrate that Siglec-H is an authentic marker for microglia in mice by immunohistochemistry using a Siglec-H-specific antibody. Siglec-H was expressed by parenchymal microglia from developmental stages to adulthood, and the expression was maintained in activated microglia under injury or inflammatory condition. However, Siglec-H expression was absent from CNS-associated macrophages and CNS-infiltrating monocytes, except for a minor subset of cells. We also show that the Siglech gene locus is a feasible site for specific targeting of microglia in the nervous system. In conclusion, Siglec-H is a reliable marker for microglia that will allow histological identification of microglia and microglia-specific gene manipulation in the nervous system.

Increased Microglial Activity, Impaired Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis, and Depressive-like Behavior in Microglial VPS35-Depleted Mice.

  • Appel JR
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2018 Jun 27

Literature context:


Abstract:

Vacuolar sorting protein 35 (VPS35) is a critical component of retromer, which is essential for selective endosome-to-Golgi retrieval of membrane proteins. VPS35 deficiency is implicated in neurodegenerative disease pathology, including Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, exactly how VPS35 loss promotes AD pathogenesis remains largely unclear. VPS35 is expressed in various types of cells in the brain, including neurons and microglia. Whereas neuronal VPS35 plays a critical role in preventing neurodegeneration, the role of microglial VPS35 is largely unknown. Here we provide evidence for microglial VPS35's function in preventing microglial activation and promoting adult hippocampal neurogenesis. VPS35 is expressed in microglia in various regions of the mouse brain, with a unique distribution pattern in a brain region-dependent manner. Conditional knocking out of VPS35 in microglia of male mice results in regionally increased microglial density and activity in the subgranular zone of the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG), accompanied by elevated neural progenitor proliferation, but decreased neuronal differentiation. Additionally, newborn neurons in the mutant DG show impaired dendritic morphology and reduced dendritic spine density. When examining the behavioral phenotypes of these animals, microglial VPS3S-depleted mice display depression-like behavior and impairment in long-term recognition memory. At the cellular level, VPS35-depleted microglia have grossly enlarged vacuolar structures with increased phagocytic activity toward postsynaptic marker PSD95, which may underlie the loss of dendritic spines observed in the mutant DG. Together, these findings identify an important role of microglial VPS35 in suppressing microglial activation and promoting hippocampal neurogenesis, which are both processes involved in AD pathogenesis.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The findings presented here provide the first in vivo evidence that Vacuolar sorting protein 35 (VPS35)/retromer is essential for regulating microglial function and that when microglial retromer mechanics are disrupted, the surrounding brain tissue can be affected in a neurodegenerative manner. These findings present a novel, microglial-specific role of VPS35 and raise multiple questions regarding the mechanisms underlying our observations. These findings also have myriad implications for the field of retromer research and the role of retromer dysfunction in neurodegenerative pathophysiology. Furthermore, they implicate a pivotal role of microglia in the regulation of adult hippocampal neurogenesis and the survival/integration of newborn neurons in the adult hippocampus.

Funding information:
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research - (Canada)

A Combination of Ontogeny and CNS Environment Establishes Microglial Identity.

  • Bennett FC
  • Neuron
  • 2018 Jun 27

Literature context:


Abstract:

Microglia, the brain's resident macrophages, are dynamic CNS custodians with surprising origins in the extra-embryonic yolk sac. The consequences of their distinct ontogeny are unknown but critical to understanding and treating brain diseases. We created a brain macrophage transplantation system to disentangle how environment and ontogeny specify microglial identity. We find that donor cells extensively engraft in the CNS of microglia-deficient mice, and even after exposure to a cell culture environment, microglia fully regain their identity when returned to the CNS. Though transplanted macrophages from multiple tissues can express microglial genes in the brain, only those of yolk-sac origin fully attain microglial identity. Transplanted macrophages of inappropriate origin, including primary human cells in a humanized host, express disease-associated genes and specific ontogeny markers. Through brain macrophage transplantation, we discover new principles of microglial identity that have broad applications to the study of disease and development of myeloid cell therapies.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - P30 CA016672(United States)
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA216054()
  • NCRR NIH HHS - S10 RR025518()
  • NIA NIH HHS - P50 AG047366()
  • NIDA NIH HHS - R37 DA015043()
  • NIMH NIH HHS - K08 MH112120()
  • NIMH NIH HHS - L30 MH108106()
  • NIMH NIH HHS - T32 MH019938()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - F31 NS078813()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - K08 NS075144()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - K08 NS085324()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - K08 NS091527()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - P30 NS069375()

Spatiotemporal distribution of glia in and around the developing mouse optic tract.

  • Lee MA
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2018 May 9

Literature context:


Abstract:

In the developing mouse optic tract, retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axon position is organized by topography and laterality (i.e., eye-specific or ipsi- and contralateral segregation). Our lab previously showed that ipsilaterally-projecting RGCs are segregated to the lateral aspect of the developing optic tract and found that ipsilateral axons self-fasciculate to a greater extent than contralaterally-projecting RGC axons in vitro. However, the full complement of axon-intrinsic and -extrinsic factors mediating eye-specific segregation in the tract remain poorly understood. Glia, which are known to express several guidance cues in the visual system and regulate the navigation of ipsilateral and contralateral RGC axons at the optic chiasm, are natural candidates for contributing to eye-specific pre-target axon organization. Here, we investigate the spatiotemporal expression patterns of both putative astrocytes (Aldh1l1+ cells) and microglia (Iba1+ cells) in the embryonic and neonatal optic tract. We quantified the localization of ipsilateral RGC axons to the lateral two-thirds of the optic tract, and analyzed glia position and distribution relative to eye-specific axon organization. While our results indicate that glial segregation patterns do not strictly align with eye-specific RGC axon segregation in the tract, we identify distinct spatiotemporal organization of both Aldh1l1+ cells and microglia in and around the developing optic tract. These findings inform future research into molecular mechanisms of glial involvement in RGC axon growth and organization in the developing retinogeniculate pathway. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL115238(United States)

Induction of the Immunoproteasome Subunit Lmp7 Links Proteostasis and Immunity in α-Synuclein Aggregation Disorders.

  • Ugras S
  • EBioMedicine
  • 2018 May 16

Literature context:


Abstract:

Accumulation of aggregated α-synuclein into Lewy bodies is thought to contribute to the onset and progression of dopaminergic neuron degeneration in Parkinson's disease (PD) and related disorders. Although protein aggregation is associated with perturbation of proteostasis, how α-synuclein aggregation affects the brain proteome and signaling remains uncertain. In a mouse model of α-synuclein aggregation, 6% of 6215 proteins and 1.6% of 8183 phosphopeptides changed in abundance, indicating conservation of proteostasis and phosphorylation signaling. The proteomic analysis confirmed changes in abundance of proteins that regulate dopamine synthesis and transport, synaptic activity and integrity, and unearthed changes in mRNA binding, processing and protein translation. Phosphorylation signaling changes centered on axonal and synaptic cytoskeletal organization and structural integrity. Proteostatic responses included a significant increase in the levels of Lmp7, a component of the immunoproteasome. Increased Lmp7 levels and activity were also quantified in postmortem human brains with PD and dementia with Lewy bodies. Functionally, the immunoproteasome degrades α-synuclein aggregates and generates potentially antigenic peptides. Expression and activity of the immunoproteasome may represent testable targets to induce adaptive responses that maintain proteome integrity and modulate immune responses in protein aggregation disorders.

Funding information:
  • Intramural NIH HHS - (United States)
  • NIA NIH HHS - R01 AG013966()
  • NICHD NIH HHS - U54 HD086984()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS088322()

A Novel Role for Lymphotactin (XCL1) Signaling in the Nervous System: XCL1 Acts via its Receptor XCR1 to Increase Trigeminal Neuronal Excitability.

  • Bird EV
  • Neuroscience
  • 2018 May 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

Chemokines are known to have a role in the nervous system, influencing a range of processes including the development of chronic pain. To date there are very few studies describing the functions of the chemokine lymphotactin (XCL1) or its receptor (XCR1) in the nervous system. We investigated the role of the XCL1-XCR1 axis in nociceptive processing, using a combination of immunohistochemical, pharmacological and electrophysiological techniques. Expression of XCR1 in the rat mental nerve was elevated 3 days following chronic constriction injury (CCI), compared with 11 days post-CCI and sham controls. XCR1 co-existed with neuronal marker PGP9.5, leukocyte common antigen CD45 and Schwann cell marker S-100. In the trigeminal root and white matter of the brainstem, XCR1-positive cells co-expressed the oligodendrocyte marker Olig2. In trigeminal subnucleus caudalis (Vc), XCR1 immunoreactivity was present in the outer laminae and was colocalized with vesicular glutamate transporter 2 (VGlut2), but not calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) or isolectin B4 (IB4). Incubation of brainstem slices with XCL1 induced activation of c-Fos, ERK and p38 in the superficial layers of Vc, and enhanced levels of intrinsic excitability. These effects were blocked by the XCR1 antagonist viral CC chemokine macrophage inhibitory protein-II (vMIP-II). This study has identified for the first time a role for XCL1-XCR1 in nociceptive processing, demonstrating upregulation of XCR1 at nerve injury sites and identifying XCL1 as a modulator of central excitability and signaling via XCR1 in Vc, a key area for modulation of orofacial pain, thus indicating XCR1 as a potential target for novel analgesics.

Funding information:
  • Medical Research Council - 87834(United Kingdom)

High-intensity treadmill running impairs cognitive behavior and hippocampal synaptic plasticity of rats via activation of inflammatory response.

  • Sun LN
  • J. Neurosci. Res.
  • 2018 Apr 17

Literature context:


Abstract:

Although appropriate exercise is beneficial for enhancing brain functions, high-intensity exercise (HIE)-induced cognitive dysfunction is causing more and more concerns nowadays. In the present study, we observed the effects of high-intensity treadmill running on the spatial learning of the adult Sprague Dawley male rats in Y-maze (n = 16 per group), and investigated its possible electrophysiological and molecular mechanisms by examining in vivo hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP), central inflammatory responses, and JNK/p38/ERK signal pathway. The Y-maze active avoidance test showed that high-intensity treadmill running impaired spatial learning ability of rats, with increased error times and prolonged training time in recognizing safety condition. Associated with the cognitive dysfunction, the induction and maintenance of hippocampal LTP were also impaired by the HIE. Furthermore, accompanied by elevated levels of inflammatory factors IL-1β, TNF-α, and iNOS, overactivation of microglia and astrocytes was also found in the CA1 region of hippocampus in the excessive exercise group, indicating an inflammatory response induced by HIE. In addition, Western blot assay showed that the phosphorylation of JNK/p38/ERK proteins was enhanced in the exercise group. These results suggest that exercise stress-induced neuronal inflammatory responses in the hippocampus are associated with HIE-induced cognitive deficits, which may be involved in the upregulation of the JNK/p38/ERK pathway. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Recombinant interleukin-4 alleviates mechanical allodynia via injury-induced interleukin-4 receptor alpha in spinal microglia in a rat model of neuropathic pain.

  • Okutani H
  • Glia
  • 2018 Apr 25

Literature context:


Abstract:

Glial cells play important roles in the development and maintenance of neuropathic pain. In particular, activated microglia in the spinal cord facilitate the hyper-excitability of dorsal horn neurons after peripheral nerve injury via pro-inflammatory molecules. In this study, we investigated the possible involvement of the anti-inflammatory cytokine, interleukin-4 (IL-4), in neuropathic pain. We did not detect the expression of IL-4 mRNA in the rat dorsal root ganglion or spinal cord; however, peripheral nerve injury induced the expression of IL-4 receptor (IL-4R) alpha mRNA in the spinal cord. A histological analysis revealed that nerve injury induced IL-4R alpha mRNA in activated spinal microglia ipsilateral to the injury site. Additionally, the increases in IL-4R alpha were coincident with the increased expression of phosphorylated signal transducer and activator of transcription 6 (pSTAT6) in spinal microglia. Intrathecal administration of recombinant IL-4 suppressed mechanical hypersensitivity in neuropathic rats, and the analgesic effect of IL-4 was accompanied by further enhancement of pSTAT6 expression in spinal microglia. Taken together, these results suggest that the adaptive responses of microglia to nerve injury involve both inflammatory and anti-inflammatory signaling, including IL-4R alpha and pSTAT6. These findings support that utilizing the endogenous anti-nociceptive activity of IL-4R alpha may modify the cell lineage of pro-nociceptive microglia, thus providing a novel therapeutic strategy for neuropathic pain.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - P30 CA006516(United States)

TREM2 Is a Receptor for β-Amyloid that Mediates Microglial Function.

  • Zhao Y
  • Neuron
  • 2018 Mar 7

Literature context:


Abstract:

Mutations in triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 (TREM2) have been linked to increased Alzheimer's disease (AD) risk. Neurobiological functions of TREM2 and its pathophysiological ligands remain elusive. Here we found that TREM2 directly binds to β-amyloid (Aβ) oligomers with nanomolar affinity, whereas AD-associated TREM2 mutations reduce Aβ binding. TREM2 deficiency impairs Aβ degradation in primary microglial culture and mouse brain. Aβ-induced microglial depolarization, K+ inward current induction, cytokine expression and secretion, migration, proliferation, apoptosis, and morphological changes are dependent on TREM2. In addition, TREM2 interaction with its signaling adaptor DAP12 is enhanced by Aβ, regulating downstream phosphorylation of SYK and GSK3β. Our data demonstrate TREM2 as a microglial Aβ receptor transducing physiological and AD-related pathological effects associated with Aβ.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - 1R01EY019101(United States)
  • NIA NIH HHS - R01 AG021173()
  • NIA NIH HHS - R01 AG038710()
  • NIA NIH HHS - R01 AG044420()
  • NIA NIH HHS - R21 AG048519()
  • NIA NIH HHS - RF1 AG056114()
  • NIA NIH HHS - RF1 AG056130()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS046673()

Down-regulation of NTPDase2 and ADP-sensitive P2 Purinoceptors Correlate with Severity of Symptoms during Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis.

  • Jakovljevic M
  • Front Cell Neurosci
  • 2017 Nov 23

Literature context:


Abstract:

The present study explores tissue and cellular distribution of ectonucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase 2 (NTPDase2) and the gene and protein expression in rat spinal cord during the course of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Given that NTPDase2 hydrolyzes ATP with a transient accumulation of ADP, the expression of ADP-sensitive P2 purinoceptors was analyzed as well. The autoimmune disease was actively induced in Dark Agouti female rats and the changes were analyzed 10, 15 and 29 days after the induction. These selected time points correspond to the onset ( Eo ), peak ( Ep ) and recovery ( Er ) from EAE. In control animals, NTPDase2 was confined in the white matter, in most of the glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-immunoreactive (ir) astrocytes and in a considerable number of nestin-ir cells, while the other cell types were immunonegative. Immunoreactivity corresponding to NTPDase2 decreased significantly at Eo and Ep and then returned to the baseline levels at Er . The preservation of the proportion of GFAP single-labeled and GFAP/NTPDase2 double-labeled elements along the course of EAE indicated that changes in NTPDase2-ir occurred at fibrous astrocytes that typically express NTPDase2 in normal conditions. Significant downregulation of P2Y1 and P2Y12 receptor proteins at Eo and several-fold induction of P2Y12 and P2Y13 receptor proteins at Ep and/or Er were observed implying that the pathophysiological process in EAE may be linked to ADP signaling. Cell-surface expression of NTPDase2, NTPDase1/CD39 and ecto-5'-nucleotidase (eN/CD73) was analyzed in CD4+ T cells of a draining lymph node by fluorescence-activated cell sorting. The induction of EAE was associated with a transient decrease in a number of CD4+ NTPDase2+ T cells in a draining lymph node, whereas the recovery was characterized by an increase in NTPDase2+ cells in both CD4+ and CD4- cell populations. The opposite was found for NTPDase1/CD39+ and eN/CD73+ cells, which slightly increased in number with progression of the disease, particularly in CD4- cells, and then decreased in the recovery. Finally, CD4+ NTPDase2+ cells were never observed in the spinal cord parenchyma. Taken together, our results suggest that the process of neuroinflammation in EAE may be associated with altered ADP signaling.

High-fat diet increases pain behaviors in rats with or without obesity.

  • Song Z
  • Sci Rep
  • 2017 Sep 4

Literature context:


Abstract:

Obesity is associated with increased risk for chronic pain. Basic mechanisms for this association are poorly understood. Using a milder version of a radicular pain model, local inflammation of the dorsal root ganglion (DRG), we observed marked increases in mechanical and cold allodynia in rats of both sexes that were maintained on a high-fat diet (HFD) for 6 weeks prior to DRG inflammation. Notably, this increase in pain-related behaviors occurred in both Long-Evans and Sprague-Dawley rats despite the fact that the 6-week HFD exposure induced obesity (e.g., increased insulin, leptin, weight, and percent body fat) in the Long-Evans, but not Sprague-Dawley, strains. This suggested that HFD, rather than obesity per se, increased pain behaviors. Increased pain behaviors were observed even after a much shorter (1 week) exposure to the HFD but the effect was smaller. HFD also increased behavioral responses and paw swelling to paw injection of complete Freund's adjuvant, a model of peripheral inflammatory pain. No change was detected in plasma cytokine levels in HFD rats. However, increased macrophage infiltration of the DRG was observed in response to the HFD, absent any pain model. The results suggest that HFD can increase pain even when it does not cause obesity.

Differential neuronal and glial expression of nuclear factor I proteins in the cerebral cortex of adult mice.

  • Chen KS
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Aug 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The nuclear factor I (NFI) family of transcription factors plays an important role in the development of the cerebral cortex in humans and mice. Disruption of nuclear factor IA (NFIA), nuclear factor IB (NFIB), or nuclear factor IX (NFIX) results in abnormal development of the corpus callosum, lateral ventricles, and hippocampus. However, the expression or function of these genes has not been examined in detail in the adult brain, and the cell type-specific expression of NFIA, NFIB, and NFIX is currently unknown. Here, we demonstrate that the expression of each NFI protein shows a distinct laminar pattern in the adult mouse neocortex and that their cell type-specific expression differs depending on the family member. NFIA expression was more frequently observed in astrocytes and oligodendroglia, whereas NFIB expression was predominantly localized to astrocytes and neurons. NFIX expression was most commonly observed in neurons. The NFI proteins were equally distributed within microglia, and the ependymal cells lining the ventricles of the brain expressed all three proteins. In the hippocampus, the NFI proteins were expressed during all stages of neural stem cell differentiation in the dentate gyrus, with higher expression intensity in neuroblast cells as compared to quiescent stem cells and mature granule neurons. These findings suggest that the NFI proteins may play distinct roles in cell lineage specification or maintenance, and establish the basis for further investigation of their function in the adult brain and their emerging role in disease.

Involvement of microglia in early axoglial alterations of the optic nerve induced by experimental glaucoma.

  • Bordone MP
  • J. Neurochem.
  • 2017 Jul 12

Literature context:


Abstract:

Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness, characterized by retinal ganglion cell (RGC) loss and optic nerve (ON) damage. Cumulative evidence suggests glial cell involvement in the degeneration of the ON and RGCs. We analyzed the contribution of microglial reactivity to early axoglial alterations of the ON in an induced model of ocular hypertension. For this purpose, vehicle or chondroitin sulfate (CS) were weekly injected into the eye anterior chamber from Wistar rats for different intervals. The amount of Brn3a(+) RGC significantly decreased in CS-injected eyes for 10 and 15 (but not 6) weeks. A reduction in anterograde transport of β-subunit cholera toxin was observed in the superior colliculus and the lateral geniculate nucleus contralateral to CS-injected eyes for 6 and 15 weeks. A disruption of cholera toxin β-subunit transport was observed at the proximal myelinated ON. A significant decrease in phosphorylated neurofilament heavy chain immunoreactivity, an increase in ionized calcium-binding adaptor molecule 1(+), ED1(+) (microglial markers), and glial fibrillary acidic protein (astrocytes) (+) area, and decreased luxol fast blue staining were observed in the ON at 6 and 15 weeks of ocular hypertension. Microglial reactivity involvement was examined through a daily treatment with minocycline (30 mg/kg, i.p.) for 2 weeks, after 4 weeks of ocular hypertension. Minocycline prevented the increase in ionized calcium-binding adaptor molecule 1(+), ED-1(+), and glial fibrillary acidic protein(+) area, the decrease in phosphorylated neurofilament heavy-chain immunoreactivity and luxol fast blue staining, and the deficit in anterograde transport induced by 6 weeks of ocular hypertension. Thus, targeting microglial reactivity might prevent early axoglial alterations in the glaucomatous ON. Cover Image for this issue: doi: 10.1111/jnc.13807.

Diverse Requirements for Microglial Survival, Specification, and Function Revealed by Defined-Medium Cultures.

  • Bohlen CJ
  • Neuron
  • 2017 May 17

Literature context:


Abstract:

Microglia, the resident macrophages of the CNS, engage in various CNS-specific functions that are critical for development and health. To better study microglia and the properties that distinguish them from other tissue macrophage populations, we have optimized serum-free culture conditions to permit robust survival of highly ramified adult microglia under defined-medium conditions. We find that astrocyte-derived factors prevent microglial death ex vivo and that this activity results from three primary components, CSF-1/IL-34, TGF-β2, and cholesterol. Using microglial cultures that have never been exposed to serum, we demonstrate a dramatic and lasting change in phagocytic capacity after serum exposure. Finally, we find that mature microglia rapidly lose signature gene expression after isolation, and that this loss can be reversed by engrafting cells back into an intact CNS environment. These data indicate that the specialized gene expression profile of mature microglia requires continuous instructive signaling from the intact CNS.

Funding information:
  • NIDA NIH HHS - R01 DA015043()
  • NIMH NIH HHS - K08 MH112120()
  • NIMH NIH HHS - T32 MH019938()

iPSC-Derived Human Microglia-like Cells to Study Neurological Diseases.

  • Abud EM
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Apr 19

Literature context:


Abstract:

Microglia play critical roles in brain development, homeostasis, and neurological disorders. Here, we report that human microglial-like cells (iMGLs) can be differentiated from iPSCs to study their function in neurological diseases, like Alzheimer's disease (AD). We find that iMGLs develop in vitro similarly to microglia in vivo, and whole-transcriptome analysis demonstrates that they are highly similar to cultured adult and fetal human microglia. Functional assessment of iMGLs reveals that they secrete cytokines in response to inflammatory stimuli, migrate and undergo calcium transients, and robustly phagocytose CNS substrates. iMGLs were used to examine the effects of Aβ fibrils and brain-derived tau oligomers on AD-related gene expression and to interrogate mechanisms involved in synaptic pruning. Furthermore, iMGLs transplanted into transgenic mice and human brain organoids resemble microglia in vivo. Together, these findings demonstrate that iMGLs can be used to study microglial function, providing important new insight into human neurological disease.

Funding information:
  • NCATS NIH HHS - UL1 TR001414()
  • NIA NIH HHS - P01 AG000538()
  • NIA NIH HHS - P50 AG016573()
  • NIA NIH HHS - R01 AG054025()
  • NIA NIH HHS - RF1 AG048099()

Glial activation in the periaqueductal gray promotes descending facilitation of neuropathic pain through the p38 MAPK signaling pathway.

  • Ni HD
  • J. Neurosci. Res.
  • 2016 Jan 28

Literature context:


Abstract:

The midbrain ventrolateral periaqueductal gray (VL-PAG) is a key component that mediates pain modulation. Although spinal cord glial cells appear to play an important role in chronic pain development, the precise mechanisms involving descending facilitation pathways from the PAG following nerve injury are poorly understood. This study shows that cellular events that occur during glial activation in the VL-PAG may promote descending facilitation from the PAG during neuropathic pain. Chronic constriction nerve injury (CCI) was induced by ligature construction of the sciatic nerve in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Behavioral responses to noxious mechanical (paw withdrawal threshold; PWT) and thermal (paw withdrawal latency; PWL) stimuli were evaluated. After CCI, immunohistochemical and Western blot analysis of microglia and astrocytes in the VL-PAG showed morphological and quantitative changes indicative of activation in microglia and astrocytes. Intra-VL-PAG injection of microglial or astrocytic inhibitors attenuated PWT and PWL at days 7 and 14, respectively, following CCI. We also evaluated the effects of intra-VL-PAG administration of the phosphorylated p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p-p38 MAPK) inhibitor SB 203580 at day 7 after CCI. This treatment abolished microglial activation and produced a significant time-dependent attenuation of PWT and PWL. Western blot analysis showed localized expression of p-p38 in the VL-PAG after CCI. P-p38 was expressed in labeled microglia of the VL-PAG but was not present in astrocytes and neurons on day 7 after CCI. These results demonstrate that CCI-induced neuropathic pain is associated with glial activation in the VL-PAG, which likely participates in descending pain facilitation through the p38 MAPK signaling pathway.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - CA173903(United States)

Cognitive and Disease-Modifying Effects of 11β-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase Type 1 Inhibition in Male Tg2576 Mice, a Model of Alzheimer's Disease.

  • Sooy K
  • Endocrinology
  • 2015 Dec 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

Chronic exposure to elevated levels of glucocorticoids has been linked to age-related cognitive decline and may play a role in Alzheimer's disease. In the brain, 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1) amplifies intracellular glucocorticoid levels. We show that short-term treatment of aged, cognitively impaired C57BL/6 mice with the potent and selective 11β-HSD1 inhibitor UE2316 improves memory, including after intracerebroventricular drug administration to the central nervous system alone. In the Tg2576 mouse model of Alzheimer's disease, UE2316 treatment of mice aged 14 months for 4 weeks also decreased the number of β-amyloid (Aβ) plaques in the cerebral cortex, associated with a selective increase in local insulin-degrading enzyme (involved in Aβ breakdown and known to be glucocorticoid regulated). Chronic treatment of young Tg2576 mice with UE2316 for up to 13 months prevented cognitive decline but did not prevent Aβ plaque formation. We conclude that reducing glucocorticoid regeneration in the brain improves cognition independently of reduced Aβ plaque pathology and that 11β-HSD1 inhibitors have potential as cognitive enhancers in age-associated memory impairment and Alzheimer's dementia.

Funding information:
  • NHGRI NIH HHS - U54HG006542(United States)

A postnatal peak in microglial development in the mouse hippocampus is correlated with heightened sensitivity to seizure triggers.

  • Kim I
  • Brain Behav
  • 2015 Dec 25

Literature context:


Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Explosive synaptogenesis and synaptic pruning occur in the hippocampus during the first two weeks of postnatal life, coincident with a heightened susceptibility to seizures in rodents. To determine the temporal correlation between microglial development and age-dependent susceptibility and response to seizures, we quantified developmental changes in basal microglia levels and seizure-induced microglial activation in the hippocampus of Cx3Cr1(GFP /+) transgenic mice. METHODS: Basal levels of microglia were quantified in the hippocampi of Cx3Cr1(GFP /+) mice at P0, P5, P10, P15, P20, P25, P30, P40, and P60. Seizure susceptibility and seizure-induced microglial activation were assessed in response to febrile seizures (lipopolysaccharide followed by hyperthermia) and kainic acid-induced status epilepticus. RESULTS: The density of microglia within the hippocampus increased rapidly after birth, reaching a peak during the second week of life - the age at which the animals became most vulnerable to seizure triggers. In addition, this peak of microglial development and seizure vulnerability during the second postnatal week represented the time of maximal seizure-induced microglia activation. CONCLUSIONS: Overreactive innate immunity mediated by activated microglia may exacerbate acute injury to neuronal synapses and contribute to the long-term epileptogenic effects of early-life seizures. Anti-inflammatory therapy targeting excessive production of inflammatory mediators by activated microglia, therefore, may be an effective age-specific therapeutic strategy to minimize neuronal dysfunction and prevent increases in susceptibility to subsequent seizures in developing animals.

Anatomical evidence that the uninjured adjacent L4 nerve plays a significant role in the development of peripheral neuropathic pain after L5 spinal nerve ligation in rats.

  • Shehab S
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2015 Aug 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Rats develop hyperalgesia and allodynia in the hind paw after L5 spinal nerve ligation. Phosphorylated extracellular regulated kinase (pERK) was used as a pain marker to investigate the potential role of adjacent uninjured L4 nerve in the development of heat hyperalgesia after L5 nerve injury. Left L5 nerve was ligated and sectioned in rats. Three days later, rats were randomly assigned to five groups; each had both hind paws immersed in water at different temperatures (no heat, 37, 42, 47, and 52 °C) under sevoflurane anesthesia for 2 minutes. Five minutes after stimulation the rats were sacrificed and sections of L3-L6 spinal segments were stained immunocytochemically with pERK antibody. pERK immunoreactivity, which is not detectable in the normal spinal cord, was discernible in neurons (not glia) of the superficial dorsal horn after noxious heat stimuli. pERK-positive neurons clearly overlapped in laminae I-II with normal unmyelinated and thin myelinated afferents labeled with calcitonin gene-related peptide and isolectin B4, and injured unmyelinated afferents labeled with vasoactive intestinal polypeptide. There was a linear increase in pERK immunoreactivity on both sides with an increase in temperature. Importantly, the number of positive pERK neurons was significantly higher in the ipsilateral side of L4 spinal segment, which receives innervation from uninjured L4 nerve, compared with the contralateral control side, which receives both uninjured L4 and L5 spinal nerves. The data demonstrate that the uninjured L4 nerve plays an important role in the development of heat hyperalgesia at the spinal cord level after L5 nerve injury.

Brain innate immunity regulates hypothalamic arcuate neuronal activity and feeding behavior.

  • Reis WL
  • Endocrinology
  • 2015 Apr 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

Hypothalamic inflammation, involving microglia activation in the arcuate nucleus (ARC), is proposed as a novel underlying mechanism in obesity, insulin and leptin resistance. However, whether activated microglia affects ARC neuronal activity, and consequently basal and hormonal-induced food intake, is unknown. We show that lipopolysaccharide, an agonist of the toll-like receptor-4 (TLR4), which we found to be expressed in ARC microglia, inhibited the firing activity of the majority of orexigenic agouti gene-related protein/neuropeptide Y neurons, whereas it increased the activity of the majority of anorexigenic proopiomelanocortin neurons. Lipopolysaccharide effects in agouti gene-related protein/neuropeptide Y (but not in proopiomelanocortin) neurons were occluded by inhibiting microglia function or by blocking TLR4 receptors. Finally, we report that inhibition of hypothalamic microglia altered basal food intake, also preventing central orexigenic responses to ghrelin. Our studies support a major role for a TLR4-mediated microglia signaling pathway in the control of ARC neuronal activity and feeding behavior.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - MH090963(United States)

Distribution of the creatine transporter throughout the human brain reveals a spectrum of creatine transporter immunoreactivity.

  • Lowe MT
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2015 Apr 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Creatine is a molecule that supports energy metabolism in cells. It is carried across the plasma membrane by the creatine transporter. There has been recent interest in creatine for its neuroprotective effects in neurodegenerative diseases and its potential as a therapeutic agent. This study represents the first systematic investigation of the distribution of the creatine transporter in the human brain. We have used immunohistochemical techniques to map out its location and the intensity of staining. The transporter was found to be strongly expressed, especially in the large projection neurons of the brain and spinal cord. These include the pyramidal neurons in the cerebral cortex, Purkinje cells in the cerebellar cortex, and motor neurons of the somatic motor and visceromotor cranial nerve nuclei and the ventral horn of the spinal cord. Many other neurons in the brain also had some degree of creatine transporter immunoreactivity. By contrast, the medium spiny neurons of the striatum and the catecholaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra and locus coeruleus, which are implicated in neurodegenerative diseases, showed a very low to almost absent level of immunoreactivity for the transporter. We propose that the distribution may reflect the energy consumption by different cell types and that the extent of creatine transporter expression is proportional to the cell's energy requirements. Furthermore, the distribution indicates that supplemented creatine would be widely taken up by brain cells, although possibly less by those cells that degenerate in Huntington's and Parkinson's diseases.

Funding information:
  • NIDA NIH HHS - R01 DA030161(United States)

Alzheimer's disease-like pathology induced by amyloid-β oligomers in nonhuman primates.

  • Forny-Germano L
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2014 Oct 8

Literature context:


Abstract:

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a devastating neurodegenerative disorder and a major medical problem. Here, we have investigated the impact of amyloid-β (Aβ) oligomers, AD-related neurotoxins, in the brains of rats and adult nonhuman primates (cynomolgus macaques). Soluble Aβ oligomers are known to accumulate in the brains of AD patients and correlate with disease-associated cognitive dysfunction. When injected into the lateral ventricle of rats and macaques, Aβ oligomers diffused into the brain and accumulated in several regions associated with memory and cognitive functions. Cardinal features of AD pathology, including synapse loss, tau hyperphosphorylation, astrocyte and microglial activation, were observed in regions of the macaque brain where Aβ oligomers were abundantly detected. Most importantly, oligomer injections induced AD-type neurofibrillary tangle formation in the macaque brain. These outcomes were specifically associated with Aβ oligomers, as fibrillar amyloid deposits were not detected in oligomer-injected brains. Human and macaque brains share significant similarities in terms of overall architecture and functional networks. Thus, generation of a macaque model of AD that links Aβ oligomers to tau and synaptic pathology has the potential to greatly advance our understanding of mechanisms centrally implicated in AD pathogenesis. Furthermore, development of disease-modifying therapeutics for AD has been hampered by the difficulty in translating therapies that work in rodents to humans. This new approach may be a highly relevant nonhuman primate model for testing therapeutic interventions for AD.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - EY13879(United States)

The BCL-2 family protein Bid is critical for pro-inflammatory signaling in astrocytes.

  • König HG
  • Neurobiol. Dis.
  • 2014 Oct 11

Literature context:


Abstract:

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by the loss of motoneurons in the spinal cord, brainstem and motor cortex. Mutations in the superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) gene represent a frequent genetic determinant and recapitulate a disease phenotype similar to ALS when expressed in mice. Previous studies using SOD1(G93A) transgenic mice have suggested a paracrine mechanism of neuronal loss, in which cytokines and other toxic factors released from astroglia or microglia trigger motoneuron degeneration. Several pro-inflammatory cytokines activate death receptors and may downstream from this activate the Bcl-2 family protein, Bid. We here sought to investigate the role of Bid in astrocyte activation and non-cell autonomous motoneuron degeneration. We found that spinal cord Bid protein levels increased significantly during disease progression in SOD1(G93A) mice. Subsequent experiments in vitro indicated that Bid was expressed at relatively low levels in motoneurons, but was enriched in astrocytes and microglia. Bid was strongly induced in astrocytes in response to pro-inflammatory cytokines or exposure to lipopolysaccharide. Experiments in bid-deficient astrocytes or astrocytes treated with a small molecule Bid inhibitor demonstrated that Bid was required for the efficient activation of transcription factor nuclear factor-κB in response to these pro-inflammatory stimuli. Finally, we found that conditioned medium from wild-type astrocytes, but not from bid-deficient astrocytes, was toxic when applied to primary motoneuron cultures. Collectively, our data demonstrate a new role for the Bcl-2 family protein Bid as a mediator of astrocyte activation during neuroinflammation, and suggest that Bid activation may contribute to non-cell autonomous motoneuron degeneration in ALS.

Funding information:
  • NIA NIH HHS - P01 AG031782(United States)
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - T32 GM007413(United States)

n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids supplementation enhances hippocampal functionality in aged mice.

  • Cutuli D
  • Front Aging Neurosci
  • 2014 Sep 9

Literature context:


Abstract:

As major components of neuronal membranes, omega-3 polyunsaturated acids (n-3 PUFA) exhibit a wide range of regulatory functions, modulating from synaptic plasticity to neuroinflammation, from oxidative stress to neuroprotection. Recent human and animal studies indicated the n-3 PUFA neuroprotective properties in aging, with a clear negative correlation between n-3 PUFA levels and hippocampal deficits. The present multidimensional study was aimed at associating cognition, hippocampal neurogenesis, volume, neurodegeneration and metabolic correlates to verify n-3 PUFA neuroprotective effects in aging. To this aim 19 month-old mice were given n-3 PUFA mixture, or olive oil or no dietary supplement for 8 weeks during which hippocampal-dependent mnesic functions were tested. At the end of behavioral testing morphological and metabolic correlates were analyzed. n-3 PUFA supplemented aged mice exhibited better object recognition memory, spatial and localizatory memory, and aversive response retention, without modifications in anxiety levels in comparison to controls. These improved hippocampal cognitive functions occurred in the context of an enhanced cellular plasticity and a reduced neurodegeneration. In fact, n-3 PUFA supplementation increased hippocampal neurogenesis and dendritic arborization of newborn neurons, volume, neuronal density and microglial cell number, while it decreased apoptosis, astrocytosis and lipofuscin accumulation in the hippocampus. The increased levels of some metabolic correlates (blood Acetyl-L-Carnitine and brain n-3 PUFA concentrations) found in n-3 PUFA supplemented mice also pointed toward an effective neuroprotection. On the basis of the present results n-3 PUFA supplementation appears to be a useful tool in health promotion and cognitive decline prevention during aging.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - R01 MH059950(United States)

Progesterone antagonism of neurite outgrowth depends on microglial activation via Pgrmc1/S2R.

  • Bali N
  • Endocrinology
  • 2013 Jul 24

Literature context:


Abstract:

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.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS083823(United States)