Minimal role for STAT1 in interleukin-6 signaling and actions in the murine brain.
ABSTRACT Interleukin (IL)-6 is a pleiotropic cytokine whose production by astrocytes in the CNS of transgenic mice (termed GF-IL6) causes neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration. The binding of IL-6 to its receptor (IL6R) triggers gp130-mediated activation of STAT1 and STAT3 as well as SHP2 phosphatase and ERK1/2. We determined the relative contribution of STAT1 to IL-6 signaling and actions in vivo in the brain of GF-IL6 mice. GF-IL6 mice that were null for STAT1 (termed GF-IL6STAT1 KO) were viable, bred normally and physically indistinguishable from GF-IL6 controls. The level of phosphotyrosine (p-Y) STAT1 was increased significantly in GF-IL6 mice but not detectable in GF-IL6STAT1 KO animals. Phospho-STAT3 and phospho-ERK1/2 were increased markedly in GF-IL6 mice and were not altered by the absence of STAT1. Both the density and distribution of phospho-STAT3-positive cells (mainly astrocytes, microglia and endothelial cells) was similar in GF-IL6 and GF-IL6STAT1 KO mice. Despite a minor decrease in IL-1 and TNF mRNA, the overall inflammatory phenotype of GF-IL6 mice was not altered significantly by the absence of STAT1. IFN-regulated genes activated by STAT1 homodimers via the GAS element (e.g. CXCL9) showed a small increase in GF-IL6 but not GF-IL6STAT1 KO animals. When compared with transgenic mice with astrocyte-targeted production of the type I IFN, IFN-alpha, the increased levels of p-Y-STAT1 and IFN-regulated gene expression were considerably lower in GF-IL6 mice. In conclusion, although IL-6 can activate STAT1 this plays minimal, if any, role in IL-6 signaling and actions in the CNS.
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ABSTRACT: The JAK-STAT signaling pathway has been implicated in astrocyte differentiation. Both STAT1 and STAT3 are expressed in the central nervous system and are thought to be important for glial differentiation, as mainly demonstrated in vitro; however direct in vivo evidence is missing. We investigated whether STAT1 and STAT3 are essential for astrocyte development by testing the STAT responsiveness of astrocyte progenitors. STAT3 was absent in the ventricular zone where glial progenitors are born but begins to appear at the marginal zone at E16.5. At E18.5, both phospho-STAT1 and phospho-STAT3 were present in glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-expressing white matter astrocytes. Overexpression of STAT3 by electroporation of chicks in ovo induced increased numbers of astrocyte progenitors in the spinal cord. Likewise, elimination of STAT3 in Stat3 conditional knockout (cKO) mice resulted in depletion of white matter astrocytes. Interestingly, elimination of STAT1 in Stat1 null mice did not inhibit astrocyte differentiation and deletion of Stat1 failed to aggravate the glial defects in Stat3 cKO mice. Measuring the activity of STAT binding elements and the gfap promoter in the presence of various STAT mutants revealed that transactivation depended on the activity of STAT3 not STAT1. No synergistic interaction between STAT1 and STAT3 was observed. Cortical progenitors of Stat1 null; Stat3 cKO mice generated astrocytes when STAT3 or the splice variant Stat3β was supplied, but not when STAT1 was introduced. Together, our results suggest that STAT3 is necessary and sufficient for astrocyte differentiation whereas STAT1 is dispensable.PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(1):e86851. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0086851 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: IL-6 is implicated in the pathogenesis of various neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative disorders of the CNS. IL-6 signals via binding to either the membrane bound IL-6Rα (classic signaling) or soluble (s)IL-6Ra (trans-signaling) that then form a complex with gp130 to activate the JAK/STAT signaling pathway. The importance of classic versus trans-signaling in mediating IL-6 actions in the living CNS is relatively unknown and was the focus of this investigation. Bigenic mice (termed GFAP-IL6/sgp130 mice) were generated with CNS-restricted, astrocyte-targeted production of IL-6 and coproduction of the specific inhibitor of IL-6 trans-signaling, human sgp130-Fc. Transgene-encoded IL-6 mRNA levels were similar in the brain of GFAP-IL6 and GFAP-IL6/sgp130 mice. However, GFAP-IL6/sgp130 mice had decreased pY(705)-STAT3 in the brain due to a reduction in the total number of pY(705)-STAT3-positive cells and a marked loss of pY(705)-STAT3 in specific cell types. Blockade of trans-signaling in the brain of the GFAP-IL6 mice significantly attenuated Serpina3n but not SOCS3 gene expression, whereas vascular changes including angiogenesis and blood-brain barrier leakage as well as gliosis were also reduced significantly. Hippocampal neurogenesis which was impaired in GFAP-IL6 mice was rescued in young GFAP-IL6 mice with cerebral sgp130 production. Finally, degenerative changes in the cerebellum characteristic of GFAP-IL6 mice were absent in GFAP-IL6/sgp130 mice. The findings indicate that in the CNS: (1) sgp130 is able to block IL-6 trans-signaling, (2) trans-signaling is important for IL-6 cellular communication with selective cellular and molecular targets, and (3) blocking of trans-signaling alleviates many of the detrimental effects of IL-6.The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience 02/2014; 34(7):2503-13. DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2830-13.2014 · 6.75 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Emerging research has identified that neuroimmune factors are produced by cells of the central nervous system (CNS) and play critical roles as regulators of CNS function, directors of neurodevelopment and responders to pathological processes. A wide range of neuroimmune factors are produced by CNS cells, primarily the glial cells, but the role of specific neuroimmune factors and their glial cell sources in CNS biology and pathology have yet to be fully elucidated. We have used transgenic mice that express elevated levels of a specific neuroimmune factor, the cytokine IL-6 or the chemokine CCL2, through genetic modification of astrocyte expression to identify targets of astrocyte produced IL-6 or CCL2 at the protein level. We found that in non-transgenic mice constitutive expression of IL-6 and CCL2 occurs in the two CNS regions studied, the hippocampus and cerebellum, as measured by ELISA. In the CCL2 transgenic mice elevated levels of CCL2 were evident in the hippocampus and cerebellum, whereas in the IL-6 transgenic mice, elevated levels of IL-6 were only evident in the cerebellum. Western blot analysis of the cellular and synaptic proteins in the hippocampus and cerebellum of the transgenic mice showed that the elevated levels of CCL2 or IL-6 resulted in alterations in the levels of specific proteins and that these actions differed for the two neuroimmune factors and for the two brain regions. These results are consistent with cell specific profiles of action for IL-6 and CCL2, actions that may be an important aspect of their respective roles in CNS physiology and pathophysiology.Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 08/2014; 8:234. DOI:10.3389/fncel.2014.00234 · 4.18 Impact FactorThis article is viewable in ResearchGate's enriched formatRG Format enables you to read in context with side-by-side figures, citations, and feedback from experts in your field.