|Estrogen receptor alpha deficiency protects against development of cognitive impairment in murine lupus.|
Cunningham, MA; Wirth, JR; Freeman, LR; Boger, HA; Granholm, AC; Gilkeson, GS
Journal of neuroinflammation
One of the more profound features of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is that females have a 9:1 prevalence of this disease over males. Up to 80% of SLE patients have cognitive defects or affective disorders. The mechanism of CNS injury responsible for cognitive impairment is unknown. We previously showed that ERα deficiency significantly reduced renal disease and increased survival in lupus-prone mice. We hypothesized that ERα deficiency would be similarly protective in the brain, and that ERα may play a role in modulating blood-brain barrier (BBB) integrity and/or neuroinflammation in lupus-prone mice.MRL/lpr ERα+/+ and ERαKO mice (n = 46) were ovariectomized, received 17β-estradiol pellets, and underwent radial arm water maze (WRAM) and novel object recognition (NOR) testing starting at eight weeks of age. Mice were sacrificed and brains were hemisected and processed for either immunohistochemistry, or hippocampus and parietal cortex dissection for Western blotting.MRL/lpr ERαKO mice (n = 21) performed significantly better in WRAM testing than wild-type MRL/lpr mice (n = 25). There was a significant reduction in reference memory errors (P less than 0.007), working memory errors (P less than 0.05), and start arm errors (P less than 0.02) in ERαKO mice. There were significant differences in NOR testing, particularly total exploration time, with ERα deficiency normalizing behavior. No significant differences were seen in markers of tight junction, astrogliosis, or microgliosis in the hippocampus or cortex by Western blot, however, there was a significant reduction in numbers of Iba1+ activated microglia in the hippocampus of ERαKO mice, as evidenced by immunohistochemietry (IHC).ERα deficiency provides significant protection against cognitive deficits in MRL/lpr mice as early as eight weeks of age. Additionally, the significant reduction in Iba1+ activated microglia in the MRL/lpr ERαKO mice was consistent with reduced inflammation, and may represent a biological mechanism for the cognitive improvement observed.
|Toll-like 4 receptor inhibitor TAK-242 decreases neuroinflammation in rat brain frontal cortex after stress.|
Gárate, I; García-Bueno, B; Madrigal, JL; Caso, JR; Alou, L; Gómez-Lus, ML; Leza, JC
Journal of neuroinflammation
The innate immune response is the first line of defence against invading microorganisms and it is also activated in different neurologic/neurodegenerative pathological scenarios. As a result, the family of the innate immune toll-like receptors (TLRs) and, in particular, the genetic/pharmacological manipulation of the TLR-4 signalling pathway emerges as a potential therapeutic strategy. Growing evidence relates stress exposure with altered immune responses, but the precise role of TLR-4 remains partly unknown.The present study aimed to elucidate whether the elements of the TLR-4 signalling pathway are activated after acute stress exposure in rat brain frontal cortex and its role in the regulation of the stress-induced neuroinflammatory response, by means of its pharmacological modulation with the intravenous administration of the TLR-4 specific inhibitor TAK-242. Considering that TLR-4 responds predominantly to lipopolysaccharide from gram-negative bacteria, we checked whether increased intestinal permeability and a resultant bacterial translocation is a potential regulatory mechanism of stress-induced TLR-4 activation.Acute restraint stress exposure upregulates TLR-4 expression both at the mRNA and protein level. Stress-induced TLR-4 upregulation is prevented by the protocol of antibiotic intestinal decontamination made to reduce indigenous gastrointestinal microflora, suggesting a role for bacterial translocation on TLR-4 signalling pathway activation. TAK-242 pre-stress administration prevents the accumulation of potentially deleterious inflammatory and oxidative/nitrosative mediators in the brain frontal cortex of rats.The use of TAK-242 or other TLR-4 signalling pathway inhibitory compounds could be considered as a potential therapeutic adjuvant strategy to constrain the inflammatory process taking place after stress exposure and in stress-related neuropsychiatric diseases.