[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The innate immune response plays an important role in the pathogenesis of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). Recent studies have shown that Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) is involved in the innate immune response in various neurological diseases, yet neither its role in ICH nor the mechanisms by which it functions have yet been elucidated. We examined these in this study using a collagenase-induced mouse ICH model with TLR2 knock-out (KO) mice.
TLR2 expression was upregulated in the ipsilateral hemorrhagic tissues of the collagenase-injected mice. Brain injury volume and neurological deficits following ICH were reduced in TLR2 KO mice compared to wild-type (WT) control mice. Heterologous blood-transfer experiments show that TLR2 signaling in brain-resident cells, but not leukocytes, contributes to the injury. In our study to elucidate underlying mechanisms, we found that damage to blood-brain barrier (BBB) integrity following ICH was attenuated in TLR2 KO mice compared to WT mice, which may be due to reduced matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP9) activation in astrocytes. The reduced BBB damage accompanies decreased neutrophil infiltration and proinflammatory gene expression in the injured brain parenchyma, which may account for the attenuated brain damage in TLR2 KO mice after ICH.
TLR2 plays a detrimental role in ICH-induced brain damage by activating MMP9 in astrocytes, compromising BBB, and enhancing neutrophils infiltration and proinflammatory gene expression.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The protective and therapeutic mechanism of bee venom acupuncture (BVA) in neurodegenerative disorders is not clear. We investigated whether treatment with BVA (0.25 and 0.8 mg/kg) at the Zusanli (ST36) acupoints, located lateral from the anterior border of the tibia, has a beneficial effect in a myelin basic protein (MBP)68-82-induced acute experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) rat model. Pretreatment (every 3 days from 1 h before immunization) with BVA was more effective than posttreatment (daily after immunization) with BVA with respect to clinical signs (neurological impairment and loss of body weight) of acute EAE rats. Treatment with BVA at the ST36 acupoint in normal rats did not induce the clinical signs. Pretreatment with BVA suppressed demyelination, glial activation, expression of cytokines [interferon (IFN)-γ, IL-17, IL-17A, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), and IL-1β], chemokines [RANTES, monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), and macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1α], and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), and activation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and nuclear factor (NF)-κB (p65 and phospho-IκBα) signaling pathways in the spinal cord of acute EAE rats. Pretreatment with BVA decreased the number of CD4(+), CD4(+)/IFN-γ(+), and CD4(+)/IL-17(+) T cells, but increased the number of CD4(+)/Foxp3(+) T cells in the spinal cord and lymph nodes of acute EAE rats. Treatment with BVA at six placebo acupoints (SP9, GB39, and four non-acupoints) did not have a positive effect in acute EAE rats. Interestingly, onset and posttreatment with BVA at the ST36 acupoint markedly attenuated neurological impairment in myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG)35-55-induced chronic EAE mice compared to treatment with BVA at six placebo acupoints. Our findings strongly suggest that treatment with BVA with ST36 acupoint could delay or attenuate the development and progression of EAE by upregulating regulatory T cells and suppressing T-helper (Th) 17 and Th1 responses. These results warrant further investigation of BVA as a treatment for autoimmune disorders of the central nervous system.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cyclooxygenase (COX) products and pattern recognition receptors are important modulators of neuroinflammation; however, the role of prostaglandins and toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling and the functional crosstalk between COX modulators remains unclear, especially in astrocytes that closely modulate neuronal functions. Here, we studied the effect of prostaglandins on toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3)-induced cytokine expression in human astroglioma CRT-MG cells. Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) was shown to increase cytosolic cAMP levels in an EP2 receptor dependent manner. Interestingly, the TLR3 agonist polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (poly(I:C)) mediated phosphorylation of NF-κB and extracellular stress-related kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2), which significantly decreased following PGE2 treatment. In addition, PGE2 increased the phosphorylation and inactivation of glycogen synthesis kinase-3β (GSK-3β), whereas poly(I:C) decreased it. We observed that PGE2 decreased tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) production evoked by poly(I:C), whereas PGE2 potentiated poly(I:C)-triggered interleukin-8 (IL-8) production. These results suggest that prostaglandin modulates the TLR3-mediated cytokine profile in astrocytes via EP2 receptors and regulates the NF-κB, ERK1/2 and GSK-3β signaling pathways.
Brain Research 11/2014; 1589. DOI:10.1016/j.brainres.2014.06.036 · 2.83 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Recent studies have indicated that Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), a pathogen-recognition receptor that triggers inflammatory signals in innate immune cells, is also expressed on sensory neurons, implicating its putative role in sensory signal transmission. However, the possible function of sensory neuron TLR4 has not yet been formally addressed. In this regard, we investigated the role of TLR4 in itch signal transmission.ResultsTLR4 was expressed on a subpopulation of dorsal root ganglia (DRG) sensory neurons that express TRPV1. In TLR4-knockout mice, histamine-induced itch responses were compromised while TLR4 activation by LPS did not directly elicit an itch response. Histamine-induced intracellular calcium signals and inward currents were comparably reduced in TLR4-deficient sensory neurons. Reduced histamine sensitivity in the TLR4-deficient neurons was accompanied by a decrease in TRPV1 activity. Heterologous expression experiments in HEK293T cells indicated that TLR4 expression enhanced capsaicin-induced intracellular calcium signals and inward currents.Conclusions
Our data show that TLR4 on sensory neurons enhances histamine-induced itch signal transduction by potentiating TRPV1 activity. The results suggest that TLR4 could be a novel target for the treatment of enhanced itch sensation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Imiquimod is an itch-promoting, small, synthetic compound that is generally used to treat genital warts and basal cell carcinoma. The prurigenic effect of imiquimod is considered to be due to TLR7 activation; however that idea has been challenged by our studies showing intact prurigenic effects of imiquimod in TLR7 KO mice. Thus, the signaling pathways of imiquimod have not been completely elucidated. Here we investigated the novel effects of imiquimod on intracellular calcium ([Ca(2+)]i) signaling. We found that imiquimod induces [Ca(2+)]i increases in PC12 and F11 cells, and even in NIH-3T3 and HEK293T cells, which do not express TLR7. This [Ca(2+)]i increase was due to Ca(2+) release from the internal store without extracellular Ca(2+) influx. Neither FCCP, a mitochondrial Ca(2+) reuptake inhibitor, nor dantrolene, a ryanodine receptor inhibitor, affected the imiquimod-induced [Ca(2+)]i increase. However, 2APB, an IP3 receptor blocker, inhibited the imiquimod-induced [Ca(2+)]i increase U73122, a PLCβ inhibitor, failed to block the imiquimod-induced [Ca(2+)]i increase. These data indicate that imiquimod triggers IP3 receptor-dependent Ca(2+) signaling independently of TLR7.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 06/2014; 450(1). DOI:10.1016/j.bbrc.2014.06.084 · 2.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Toll-like receptors (TLRs) belong to a class of pattern recognition receptors that play an important role in host defense against pathogens. TLRs on innate immune cells recognize a wide variety of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) and trigger innate immune responses. Later, it was revealed that the same receptors are also utilized to detect tissue damage to trigger inflammatory responses in the context of non-infectious inflammation. In the nervous system, different members of the TLR family are expressed on glial cells including astrocytes, microglia, oligodendrocytes, and Schwann cells, implicating their putative role in innate/inflammatory responses in the nervous system. In this regard, we have investigated the function of TLRs in neuroinflammation. We discovered that a specific member of the TLR family, namely TLR2, functions as a master sentry receptor to detect neuronal cell death and tissue damage in many different neurological conditions including nerve transection injury, intracerebral hemorrhage, traumatic brain injury, and hippocampal excitotoxicity. In this review, we have summarized our research for the last decade on the role of TLR2 in neuroinflammation in the above neurological disorders. Our data suggest that TLR2 can be an efficient target to regulate unwanted inflammatory response in these neurological conditions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: White matter is frequently involved in ischemic stroke, and progressive ischemic white matter injuries are associated with various neurologic dysfunctions in the elderly population. Demyelination and oligodendrocyte (OL) loss are prominent features of ischemic white matter injury. Endothelin-1 injection into the internal capsule resulted in a localized demyelinating lesion in mice, where loss of OL lineage cells and inflammatory cell infiltration were observed accompanied by upregulation of toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2). Intriguingly, the extent of demyelinating pathology was markedly larger in TLR2 deficient mice than that of wild-type (WT) mice. TLR2 deficient mice showed enhanced OL death and decreased phosphorylation of ERK1/2 compared with WT animals. Cultured OLs from TLR2 deficient mice were more vulnerable to oxygen-glucose deprivation than WT OLs. Applying TLR2 agonists Pam3CSK4 or Zymosan after oxygen-glucose deprivation substantially rescued WT OL death with augmentation of ERK1/2 phosphorylation. Treatment with Pam3CSK4 also reduced the extent of endothelin-1 induced ischemic demyelination in vivo. Our data indicate TLR2 may provide endogenous protective effects on ischemic demyelination and OL degeneration.
Neurobiology of aging 02/2014; 35(7). DOI:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2014.01.146 · 4.85 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Toll-like receptors (TLRs), which have been implicated in various neuroinflammatory responses, are thought to act in defense mechanisms by inhibiting neuronal cell death in Alzheimer's disease. In this study, we evaluated the effects of TLR2 on amyloid beta peptide 25-35 (Aβ25-35)-induced neuronal cell death, synaptic dysfunction, and microglial activation in organotypic hippocampal slice cultures (OHSCs) from wild-type (WT) C57BL/6 mice and TLR2-knockout (KO) mice. In WT mice, Aβ25-35 induced β-amyloid aggregation and surrounding TLR2 expression. And, propidium iodide (PI) uptake, which is a measure of cell death, increased in a dose-dependent manner in slices with Aβ25-35 treatment. In the Aβ25-35-treated TLR2-KO OHSCs, the PI uptake was significantly attenuated to the control level, indicating that the cells were less susceptible to Aβ25-35-induced neuronal toxicity. In the ultrastructural analysis, nuclear shrinkage, slightly swollen mitochondria, and degraded organelles were detected in the Aβ25-35-treated slices from WT mice but not in the Aβ25-35-treated slices from TLR2-KO, suggesting the resistance of TLR2-KO to Aβ25-35-induced neurotoxicity. In Aβ25-35-treated OHSCs of WT mice, the levels of phosphorylated tau were increased and the levels of synaptophysin were decreased in a dose-dependent manner, but they were not changed in OHSCs of TLR2-KO mice. In WT mice, Aβ25-35 increased total protein level and immunoreactivity of Iba-1, which was colocalized with TLR2. However, there were no significant changes in the slices of Aβ25-35-treated TLR2-KO mice. These results suggested that TLR2 may play a role in Aβ25-35-induced neuronal cell loss and synaptic dysfunction through the activation of microglia in OHSCs.
Neurochemistry International 10/2013; 63(8). DOI:10.1016/j.neuint.2013.10.007 · 2.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) are essential secondary messengers in many signaling cascades governing innate immunity and cellular functions. TLR3 signaling is crucially involved in antiviral innate and inflammatory responses; however, the roles of ROS in TLR3 signaling remain largely unknown. In this study, we show that TLR3-induced ROS generation is required for the activation of NF-κB, IFN-regulatory factor 3, and STAT1-mediated innate immune responses in macrophages. TLR3 induction led to a rapid increase in ROS generation and a physical association between components of the NADPH oxidase (NOX) enzyme complex (NOX2 and p47(phox)) and TLR3 via a Ca(2+)-c-Src tyrosine kinase-dependent pathway. TLR3-induced ROS generation, NOX2, and p47(phox) were required for the phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of STAT1 and STAT2. TLR3-induced activation of STAT1 contributed to the generation of inflammatory mediators, which was significantly attenuated in NOX2- and p47(phox)-deficient macrophages, suggesting a role for ROS-STAT1 in TLR3-mediated innate immune responses. Collectively, these results provide a novel insight into the crucial role that TLR3-ROS signaling plays in innate immune responses by activating STAT1.
The Journal of Immunology 05/2013; 190(12). DOI:10.4049/jimmunol.1202574 · 5.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abnormal aggregation of α-synuclein and sustained microglial activation are important contributors to the pathogenic processes of Parkinson's disease. However, the relationship between disease-associated protein aggregation and microglia-mediated neuroinflammation remains unknown. Here, using a combination of in silico, in vitro and in vivo approaches, we show that extracellular α-synuclein released from neuronal cells is an endogenous agonist for Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2), which activates inflammatory responses in microglia. The TLR2 ligand activity of α-synuclein is conformation-sensitive; only specific types of oligomer can interact with and activate TLR2. This paracrine interaction between neuron-released oligomeric α-synuclein and TLR2 in microglia suggests that both of these proteins are novel therapeutic targets for modification of neuroinflammation in Parkinson's disease and related neurological diseases.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are type I transmembrane signaling molecules that are expressed in cells of the innate immune system. In these cells, TLRs function as pattern recognition receptors (PRR) that recognize specific molecular patterns derived from microorganisms. Upon activation, TLRs trigger a cascade of intracellular signaling pathways in innate immune cells, leading to the induction of inflammatory and innate immune responses, which in turn regulate adaptive immune responses. In the nervous system, different members of the TLR family are expressed on glial cells (astrocytes, microglia, oligodendrocytes, and Schwann cells) and neurons. Recently, increasing evidence has supported the idea that TLRs also recognize endogenous molecules that are released from damaged tissue, thereby regulating inflammatory responses and subsequent tissue repair. These findings imply that TLRs on glial cells may also be involved in the inflammatory response to tissue damage in the nervous system. In this review, we discuss recent studies on TLR expression in the cells of the nervous system and their roles in acute neurological disorders involving tissue damage such as strokes, traumatic spinal cord and brain injuries, and peripheral nerve injuries.
Current Protein and Peptide Science 02/2013; 14(1). DOI:10.2174/1389203711314010006 · 2.33 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have previously reported that NADPH oxidase 2 (Nox2) is up-regulated in spinal cord microglia after spinal nerve injury,
demonstrating that it is critical for microglia activation and subsequent pain hypersensitivity. However, the mechanisms and
molecules involved in Nox2 induction have not been elucidated. Previous studies have shown that Toll-like receptors (TLRs)
are involved in nerve injury-induced spinal cord microglia activation. In this study, we investigated the role of TLR in Nox2
expression in spinal cord microglia after peripheral nerve injury. Studies using TLR knock-out mice have shown that nerve
injury-induced microglial Nox2 up-regulation is abrogated in TLR2 but not in TLR3 or -4 knock-out mice. Intrathecal injection
of lipoteichoic acid, a TLR2 agonist, induced Nox2 expression in spinal cord microglia both at the mRNA and protein levels.
Similarly, lipoteichoic acid stimulation induced Nox2 expression and reactive oxygen species production in primary spinal
cord glial cells in vitro. Studies on intracellular signaling pathways indicate that NF-κB and p38 MAP kinase activation is required for TLR2-induced
Nox2 expression in glial cells. Conclusively, our data show that TLR2 mediates nerve injury-induced Nox2 gene expression in
spinal cord microglia via NF-κB and p38 activation and thereby may contribute to spinal cord microglia activation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), a member of the MAPK family, is an important regulatory factor of synaptic plasticity as well as neuronal differentiation and cell death. Recently, JNK has been reported to modulate synaptic plasticity by the direct phosphorylation of synaptic proteins. The specific role of c-Jun phosphorylation in JNK mediated synaptic plasticity, however, remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the effects of c-Jun phosphorylation on synaptic structure and function by using c-Jun mutant mice, c-JunAA, in which the active phosphorylation sites at serines 63 and 73 were replaced by alanines. The gross hippocampal anatomy and number of spines on hippocampal pyramidal neurons were normal in c-JunAA mice. Basal synaptic transmission, input-output ratios, and paired-pulse facilitation (PPF) were also no different in c-JunAA compared with wild-type mice. Notably, however, the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) at hippocampal CA3-CA1 synapses in c-JunAA mice was impaired, whereas induction of long-term depression (LTD) was normal. These data suggest that phosphorylation of the c-Jun N-terminus is required for LTP formation in the hippocampus, and may help to better characterize JNK-mediated modulation of synaptic plasticity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent studies show that necrotic neuronal cells (NNC) activate microglia, thereby leading to neuronal cell death. This suggests that chemicals that inhibit microglia activation may be used as neuroprotective drugs. In this context, we screened a chemical library for inhibitors of microglia activation. Using a screening system based on a nitrite assay, we isolated two chemicals that inhibit nitric oxide (NO) release from activated microglia: triamcinolone acetonide (TA) and amcinonide. The half-maximal inhibitory concentrations (IC50) of TA and amcinonide for NO release inhibition were 1.78 nM and 3.38 nM, respectively. These chemicals also inhibited NNC-induced expression of the proinflammatory genes iNOS, TNF-α, and IL-1β in glial cells. A study based on a luciferase assay revealed that TA attenuated NNC-induced microglia activation by blocking the NF-κB signaling pathway. In addition, TA protected cortical neurons in coculture with microglia from LPS/IFN-γ-induced neuronal cell death. In conclusion, TA may inhibit microglia activation and may protect neuronal cells from death induced by microglial activation.
Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology 05/2012; 34(6). DOI:10.3109/08923973.2012.671332 · 1.11 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Immunosuppression is a characteristic feature of Toxoplasma gondii-infected murine hosts. The present study aimed to determine the effect of the immunosuppression induced by T. gondii infection on the pathogenesis and progression of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in Tg2576 AD mice. Mice were infected with a cyst-forming strain (ME49) of T. gondii, and levels of inflammatory mediators (IFN-c and nitric oxide), anti-inflammatory cytokines (IL-10 and TGF-b), neuronal damage, and b- amyloid plaque deposition were examined in brain tissues and/or in BV-2 microglial cells. In addition, behavioral tests, including the water maze and Y-maze tests, were performed on T. gondii-infected and uninfected Tg2576 mice. Results revealed that whereas the level of IFN-c was unchanged, the levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines were significantly higher in T. gondii-infected mice than in uninfected mice, and in BV-2 cells treated with T. gondii lysate antigen. Furthermore, nitrite production from primary cultured brain microglial cells and BV-2 cells was reduced by the addition of T. gondii lysate antigen (TLA), and b-amyloid plaque deposition in the cortex and hippocampus of Tg2576 mouse brains was remarkably lower in T. gondii-infected AD mice than in uninfected controls. In addition, water maze and Y-maze test results revealed retarded cognitive capacities in uninfected mice as compared with infected mice. These findings demonstrate the favorable effects of the immunosuppression induced by T. gondii infection on the pathogenesis and progression of AD in Tg2576 mice.
PLoS ONE 03/2012; 7(3):e33312. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0033312 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Imiquimod (IQ) is known as an agonist of Toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7) and is widely used to treat various infectious skin diseases. However, it causes severe itching sensation as its side effect. The precise mechanism of how IQ causes itching sensation is unknown. A recent report suggested a molecular target of IQ as TLR7 expressed in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. However, we recently proposed a TLR7-independent mechanism, in which the activation of TLR7 is not required for the action of IQ in DRG neurons. To resolve this controversy regarding the involvement of TLR7 and to address the exact molecular identity of itching sensation by IQ, we investigated the possible molecular target of IQ in DRG neurons.
When IQ was applied to DRG neurons, we observed an increase in action potential (AP) duration and membrane resistance both in wild type and TLR7-deficient mice. Based on these results, we tested whether the treatment of IQ has an effect on the activity of K(+) channels, K(v)1.1 and K(v)1.2 (voltage-gated K(+) channels) and TREK1 and TRAAK (K(2P) channels). IQ effectively reduced the currents mediated by both K(+) channels in a dose-dependent manner, acting as an antagonist at TREK1 and TRAAK and as a partial antagonist at K(v)1.1 and K(v)1.2.
Our results demonstrate that IQ blocks the voltage-gated K(+) channels to increase AP duration and K(2P) channels to increase membrane resistance, which are critical for the membrane excitability of DRG neurons. Therefore, we propose that IQ enhances the excitability of DRG neurons by blocking multiple potassium channels and causing pruritus.