Stress increases vulnerability to inflammation in the rat prefrontal cortex
ABSTRACT Inflammation could be involved in some neurodegenerative disorders that accompany signs of inflammation. However, because sensitivity to inflammation is not equal in all brain structures, a direct relationship is not clear. Our aim was to test whether some physiological circumstances, such as stress, could enhance susceptibility to inflammation in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), which shows a relative resistance to inflammation. PFC is important in many brain functions and is a target for some neurodegenerative diseases. We induced an inflammatory process by a single intracortical injection of 2 microg of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a potent proinflammogen, in nonstressed and stressed rats. We evaluated the effect of our treatment on inflammatory markers, neuronal populations, BDNF expression, and behavior of several mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases and the transcription factor cAMP response element-binding protein. Stress strengthens the changes induced by LPS injection: microglial activation and proliferation with an increase in the levels of the proinflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor-alpha; loss of cells such as astroglia, seen as loss of glial fibrillary acidic protein immunoreactivity, and neurons, studied by neuronal-specific nuclear protein immunohistochemistry and GAD67 and NMDA receptor 1A mRNAs expression by in situ hybridization. A significant increase in the BDNF mRNA expression and modifications in the levels of MAP kinase phosphorylation were also found. In addition, we observed a protective effect from RU486 [mifepristone (11beta-[p-(dimethylamino)phenyl]-17beta-hydroxy-17-(1-propynyl)estra-4,9-dien-3-one)], a potent inhibitor of the glucocorticoid receptor activation. All of these data show a synergistic effect between inflammation and stress, which could explain the relationship described between stress and some neurodegenerative pathologies.
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ABSTRACT: Exposure to acute and chronic stressors sensitizes the proinflammatory response of microglia to a subsequent immune challenge. However, the proximal signal by which stressors prime microglia remains unclear. Here, high mobility group box-1 (HMGB-1) protein was explored as a potential mediator of stress-induced microglial priming and whether HMGB-1 does so via the nucleotide-binding domain, leucine-rich repeat, pyrin domain containing protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome. Exposure to 100 inescapable tail shocks (ISs) increased HMGB-1 and NLRP3 protein in the hippocampus and led isolated microglia to release HMGB-1 ex vivo. To determine whether HMGB-1 signaling is necessary for stress-induced sensitization of microglia, the HMGB-1 antagonist BoxA was injected into the cisterna magnabefore IS. Hippocampal microglia were isolated 24 h later and stimulated with LPS ex vivo to probe for stress-induced sensitizationof proinflammatory responses. Previous IS potentiated gene expression of NLRP3 and proinflammatory cytokines to LPS, that is, microglia were sensitized. Treatment with BoxA abolished this effect. To determine whether HMGB-1 is sufficient to prime microglia, IS was replaced with intracerebral administration of disulfide or fully reduced HMGB-1. Intracerebral disulfide HMGB-1 mimicked the effect of the stressor, because microglia isolated from HMGB-1-treated rats expressed exaggerated NLRP3 and proinflammatory cytokine expression after LPS treatment, whereas fully reduced HMGB-1 had no effect. The present results suggest that the CNS innate immune system can respond to an acute stressor as if it were cellular damage, thereby releasing the danger signal HMGB-1 in the brain to prime microglia by acting on the NLRP3 inflammasome, in preparation for a later immune challenge.The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience 01/2015; 35(1):316-324. DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3561-14.2015
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ABSTRACT: A consequence of normal aging is a greater susceptibility to memory impairments following an immune challenge such as infection, surgery, or traumatic brain injury. The neuroinflammatory response, produced by these challenges results in increased and prolonged production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the otherwise healthy aged brain. Here we discuss the mechanisms by which long lasting elevations in pro-inflammatory cytokines in the hippocampus produce memory impairments. Sensitized microglia are a primary source of this exaggerated neuroinflammatory response and appear to be a hallmark of the normal aging brain. We review the current understanding of the causes and effects of normal aging-induced microglial sensitization, including dysregulations of the neuroendocrine system, potentiation of neuroinflammatory responses following an immune challenge, and the impairment of memories. We end with a discussion of therapeutic approaches to prevent these deleterious effects. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.Neuroscience 03/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2015.03.007