Attenuation of proliferation in oligodendrocyte precursor cells by activated microglia

Deanna L Taylor, Grisha Pirianov, Samantha Holland, Colm J McGinnity, Adele L Norman, Camilla Reali, Lara T Diemel, Djordje Gveric, Davy Yeung, Huseyin Mehmet
Journal of Neuroscience Research 2010, 88 (8): 1632-44
Activated microglia can influence the survival of neural cells through the release of cytotoxic factors. Here, we investigated the interaction between Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4)-activated microglia and oligodendrocytes or their precursor cells (OPC). Primary rat or N9 microglial cells were activated by exposure to TLR4-specifc lipopolysaccharide (LPS), resulting in mitogen-activated protein kinase activation, increased CD68 and inducible nitric oxide synthase expression, and release of the proinflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukin-6 (IL-6). Microglial conditioned medium (MGCM) from LPS-activated microglia attenuated primary OPC proliferation without inducing cell death. The microglial-induced inhibition of OPC proliferation was reversed by stimulating group III metabotropic glutamate receptors in microglia with the agonist L-AP4. In contrast to OPC, LPS-activated MGCM enhanced the survival of mature oligodendrocytes. Further investigation suggested that TNF and IL-6 released from TLR4-activated microglia might contribute to the effect of MGCM on OPC proliferation, insofar as TNF depletion of LPS-activated MGCM reduced the inhibition of OPC proliferation, and direct addition of TNF or IL-6 attenuated or increased proliferation, respectively. OPC themselves were also found to express proteins involved in TLR4 signalling, including TLR4, MyD88, and MAL. Although LPS stimulation of OPC did not induce proinflammatory cytokine release or affect their survival, it did trigger JNK phosphorylation, suggesting that TLR4 signalling in these cells is active. These findings suggest that OPC survival may be influenced not only by factors released from endotoxin-activated microglia but also through a direct response to endotoxins. This may have consequences for myelination under conditions in which microglial activation and cerebral infection are both implicated. , Inc.

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