Microglia express distinct M1 and M2 phenotypic markers in the postnatal and adult central nervous system in male and female mice.
ABSTRACT Although microglial activation is associated with all CNS disorders, many of which are sexually dimorphic or age-dependent, little is known about whether microglial basal gene expression is altered with age in the healthy CNS or whether it is sex dependent. Analysis of microglia from the brains of 3-day (P3)- to 12-month-old male and female C57Bl/6 mice revealed distinct gene expression profiles during postnatal development that differ significantly from those in adulthood. Microglia at P3 are characterized by relatively high iNOS, TNFα and arginase-I mRNA levels, whereas P21 microglia have increased expression of CD11b, TLR4, and FcRγI. Adult microglia (2-4 months) are characterized by low proinflammatory cytokine expression, which increases by 12 months of age. Age-dependent differences in gene expression suggest that microglia likely undergo phenotypic changes during ontogenesis, although in the healthy brain they did not express exclusively either M1 or M2 phenotypic markers at any time. Interestingly, microglia were sexually dimorphic only at P3, when females had higher expression of inflammatory cytokines than males, although there were no sex differences in estrogen receptor expression at this or any other time evaluated here. Compared with microglia in vivo, primary microglia prepared from P3 mice had considerably altered gene expression, with higher levels of TNFα, CD11b, arginase-I, and VEGF, suggesting that culturing may significantly alter microglial properties. In conclusion, age- and sex-specific variances in basal gene expression may allow differential microglial responses to the same stimulus at different ages, perhaps contributing to altered CNS vulnerabilities and/or disease courses. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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ABSTRACT: Neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is an important cause of motor and cognitive impairment in children. Clinically, male infants are more vulnerable to ischemic insults and suffer more long-term deficits than females; however, the mechanisms underlying this sex difference remain elusive. Inflammatory processes initiated by microglial activation are fundamental in the pathophysiology of ischemia. Recent studies report a sexual dimorphism in microglia numbers and expression of activation markers in the neonatal brain under normal conditions. How these basal sex differences in microglia affect HIE remains largely unexplored. This study investigated sex differences in ischemic outcomes and inflammation triggered by HIE. We hypothesize that ischemia induces sex-specific brain injury in male and female neonates and that microglial activation and inflammatory responses play an important role in this sexual dimorphism. Male and female C57BL6 mice were subjected to 60-min Rice-Vanucci modeling (RVM) at post-natal day 10 (P10) to induce HIE. Stroke outcomes were measured 1, 3, 7, and 30 days after stroke. Microglial activation and inflammatory responses were evaluated by flow cytometry and cytokine analysis. On day 1 of HIE, no difference in infarct volumes or seizure scores was seen between male and female neonates. However, female neonates exhibited significantly smaller infarct size and fewer seizures compared to males 3 days after HIE. Females also had less brain tissue loss and behavioral deficits compared to males at the chronic stage of HIE. Male animals demonstrated increased microglial activation and up-regulated inflammatory response compared to females at day 3. HIE leads to an equivalent primary brain injury in male and female neonates at the acute stage that develops into sexually dimorphic outcomes at later time points. An innate immune response secondary to the primary injury may contribute to sexual dimorphism in HIE.Journal of Neuroinflammation 12/2015; 12(1). DOI:10.1186/s12974-015-0251-6 · 4.90 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The explosion of new information in recent years on the origin of macrophages in the steady-state and in the context of inflammation has opened up numerous new avenues of investigation and possibilities for therapeutic intervention. In contrast to the classical model of macrophage development, it is clear that tissue-resident macrophages can develop from yolk sac-derived erythro-myeloid progenitors, fetal liver progenitors, and bone marrow-derived monocytes. Under both homeostatic conditions and in response to pathophysiological insult, the contribution of these distinct sources of macrophages varies significantly between tissues. Furthermore, while all of these populations of macrophages appear to be capable of adopting the polarized M1/M2 phenotypes, their respective contribution to inflammation, resolution of inflammation, and tissue repair remains poorly understood and is likely to be tissue- and disease-dependent. A better understanding of the ontology and polarization capacity of macrophages in homeostasis and disease will be essential for the development of novel therapies that target the inherent plasticity of macrophages in the treatment of acute and chronic inflammatory disease.Frontiers in Immunology 01/2014; 5:683. DOI:10.3389/fimmu.2014.00683
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ABSTRACT: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a clinically heterogeneous disorder characterized by loss of motor neurons, resulting in paralysis and death. Multiple mechanisms of motor neuron injury have been implicated based upon the more than 20 different genetic causes of familial ALS. These inherited mutations compromise diverse motor neuron pathways leading to cell-autonomous injury. In the ALS transgenic mouse models, however, motor neurons do not die alone. Cell death is noncell-autonomous dependent upon a well orchestrated dialogue between motor neurons and surrounding glia and adaptive immune cells. The pathogenesis of ALS consists of 2 stages: an early neuroprotective stage and a later neurotoxic stage. During early phases of disease progression, the immune system is protective with glia and T cells, especially M2 macrophages/microglia, and T helper 2 cells and regulatory T cells, providing anti-inflammatory factors that sustain motor neuron viability. As the disease progresses and motor neuron injury accelerates, a second rapidly progressing phase develops, characterized by M1 macrophages/microglia, and proinflammatory T cells. In rapidly progressing ALS patients, as in transgenic mice, neuroprotective regulatory T cells are significantly decreased and neurotoxicity predominates. Our own therapeutic efforts are focused on modulating these neuroinflammatory pathways. This review will focus on the cellular players involved in neuroinflammation in ALS and current therapeutic strategies to enhance neuroprotection and suppress neurotoxicity with the goal of arresting the progressive and devastating nature of ALS.Journal of the American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics 01/2015; DOI:10.1007/s13311-014-0329-3 · 3.88 Impact Factor