APOEgenotype-dependent modulation of astrocyte chemokine CCL3 production

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Abstract

Apolipoprotein E (apoE) is well known as a regulator of cholesterol homeostasis, and is increasingly recognized to play a prominent role in the modulation of innate immune response, including cell-to-cell communication and migration. Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a slowly progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by neuroinflammation that appears to be an important component of the pathophysiology of the disease. Astrocytes are the majority cell type in brain, exerting significant influence over a range of central nervous system activities, including microglial-mediated neuroinflammatory responses. As the resident innate immune effector cells of the brain, microglia respond to soluble chemical signals released from tissue during injury and disease by mobilizing to lesion sites, clearing toxic molecules, and releasing chemical signals of their own. While microglial-mediated neuroinflammation in the AD brain remains an area of intense investigation, the mechanisms underlying reinforcement and regulation of these aberrant microglial responses by astrocytes are largely unstudied. Moreover, although inheritance of APOE ε4 represents the greatest genetic risk factor for sporadic AD, the mechanism by which apoE isoforms differentially influence AD pathophysiology is unknown. Here we show that APOE ε4 genotype specifically modulates astrocyte secretion of potent microglial chemotactic agents, including CCL3, thus providing evidence that APOE modulation of central nervous system (CNS) innate immune response is mediated through astrocytes. GLIA 2015;63:51–65

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