Screening for Inhibitors of Microglia to Reduce Neuroinflammation.
ABSTRACT Background: Despite the significant role microglia play in the pathology of multiple sclerosis (MS), medicationsthat act within the central nervous system (CNS) to inhibit microglia have not yet been identified as treatment options. Objective: We screened 1040 compounds with the aim of identifying inhibitors of microglia to reduce neuroinflammation. Methods: The NINDs collection of 1040 compounds, where most are therapeutic medications, was tested at 10 μM final concentration on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated human microglia. An ELISA was run on the media to measure the level of TNF-α as an indicator of microglia activity. For compounds that reduce LPS-activated TNF-α levels by over 50%, considered as a potential inhibitor of interest, toxicity tests were conducted to exclude non-specific cytotoxicity. Promising compounds were subjected to further analyses, including toxicity to other CNS cell types, and multiplex assays. Results: Of 1040 compounds tested, 123reduced TNF-α levels of LPS-activated microglia by over 50%. However, most of these were cytotoxic to microglia at the concentration tested while 54were assessed to be non-toxic. Of the latter, spironolactone was selected for further analyses. Spironolactone reduced TNF-α levels of activated microglia by 50-60% at 10 μM, and this concentration did not kill microglia, neurons or astrocytes. In multiplex assays, spironolactone reduced several molecules in activated microglia. Finally, during the screening, we identified 9 compounds that elevated further the TNF-α levels in LPS-activated microglia. Conclusion: Many of the non-toxic compounds identified in this screen as inhibitors of microglia, including spironolactone,may be explored as viable therapeutic options in MS.
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ABSTRACT: Brain tumor initiating cells (BTICs) contribute to the genesis and recurrence of gliomas. We examined whether the microglia and macrophages that are abundant in gliomas alter BTIC growth. We found that microglia derived from non-glioma human subjects markedly mitigated the sphere-forming capacity of glioma patient-derived BTICs in culture by inducing the expression of genes that control cell cycle arrest and differentiation. This sphere-reducing effect was mimicked by macrophages, but not by neurons or astrocytes. Using a drug screen, we validated amphotericin B (AmpB) as an activator of monocytoid cells and found that AmpB enhanced the microglial reduction of BTIC spheres. In mice harboring intracranial mouse or patient-derived BTICs, daily systemic treatment with non-toxic doses of AmpB substantially prolonged life. Notably, microglia and monocytes cultured from glioma patients were inefficient at reducing the sphere-forming capacity of autologous BTICs, but this was rectified by AmpB. These results provide new insights into the treatment of gliomas.Nature Neuroscience 12/2013; 17(1). DOI:10.1038/nn.3597 · 14.98 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Chronic neuroinflammation is thought to play an etiological role in Alzheimer's disease (AD), which is characterized pathologically by amyloid and tau formation, as well as neuritic dystrophy and synaptic degeneration. The causal relationship between these pathological events is a topic of ongoing research and discussion. Recent data from transgenic AD models point to a tight spatiotemporal link between neuritic and amyloid pathology, with the obligatory enzyme for β-amyloid (Aβ) production, namely β-secretase-1 (BACE1), is overexpressed in axon terminals undergoing dystrophic change. However, the axonal pathology inherent with BACE1 elevation seen in transgenic AD mice may be secondary to increased soluble Aβ in these genetically modified animals. Here we explored the occurrence of the AD-like axonal and dendritic pathology in adult rat brain affected by LPS-induced chronic neuroinflammation. Unilateral intracerebral LPS injection induced prominent inflammatory response in glial cells in the ipsilateral cortex and hippocampal formation. BACE1 protein levels were elevated the ipsilateral hippocampal lysates in the LPS treated animals relative to controls. BACE1 immunoreactive dystrophic axons appeared in the LPS-treated ipsilateral cortex and hippocampal formation, colocalizing with increased β-amyloid precursor protein and Aβ antibody (4G8) immunolabeling. Quantitative Golgi studies revealed reduction of dendritic branching points and spine density on cortical layer III and hippocampal CA3 pyramidal neurons in the LPS-treated ipsilateral cerebrum. These findings suggest that Alzheimer-like amyloidogenic axonal pathology and dendritic degeneration occur in wildtype mammalian brain in partnership with neuroinflammation following LPS injection.Advances in Alzheimer's Disease 06/2014; 3(2):78-93. DOI:10.4236/aad.2014.32009
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ABSTRACT: Background: Neuroinflammation is a hallmark that leads to selective neuronal loss and/or dysfunction in neurodegenerative disorders. Microglia-derived lysosomal cathepsins are increasingly recognized as important inflammatory mediators to trigger signaling pathways that aggravate neuroinflammation. However, cathepsin H (Cat H), a cysteine protease, has been far less studied in neuroinflammation, compared to cathepsins B, D, L, and S. The expression patterns and functional roles of Cat H in the brain in neuroinflammation remain unknown. Methods: C57BL/6J mice were intraperitoneally injected with either 0.9% saline or lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 5 mg/kg). Immunohistochemistry (IHC) and in situ hybridization (ISH) were used to analyze expression and localization of Cat H in the brain. Nitrite assay was used to examine microglial activation in vitro; ELISA was used to determine the release of Cat H and proinflammatory cytokines (TNF-alpha, IL-1 beta, IL-6, IFN-gamma). Cat H activity was analyzed by cellular Cat H assay kit. Flow cytometry and in situ cell death detection were used to investigate neuronal death. Data were evaluated for statistical significance with one-way ANOVA and t test. Results: Cat H mRNA was only present in perivascular microglia and non-parenchymal sites under normal conditions. After LPS injection, Cat H mRNA expression in activated microglia in different brain regions was increased. Twenty-four hours after LPS injection, Cat H mRNA expression was maximal in SNr; 72 h later, it peaked in cerebral cortex and hippocampus then decreased and maintained at a low level. The expression of Cat H protein exhibited the similar alterations after LPS injection. In vitro, inflammatory stimulation (LPS, TNF-alpha, IL-1 beta, IL-6, and IFN-gamma) increased the release and activity of Cat H in microglia. Conversely, addition of Cat H to microglia promoted the production and release of NO, IL-1 beta, and IFN-gamma which could be prevented by neutralizing antibody. Further, addition of Cat H to Neuro2a cells induced neuronal death. Conclusions: Taken together, these data indicate that the up-regulated microglial Cat H expression, release, and activity in the brain lead to neuronal death in neuroinflammation. The functional link of Cat H with microglial activation might contribute to the initiation and maintenance of microglia-driven chronic neuroinflammation.Journal of Neuroinflammation 12/2015; 12(1). DOI:10.1186/s12974-015-0268-x · 4.90 Impact Factor