Alterations of Fc gamma receptor I and Toll-like receptor 4 mediate the antiinflammatory actions of microglia and astrocytes after adrenaline-induced blood–brain barrier opening in rats

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Blood–brain barrier (BBB) opening occurs under many physiological and pathological conditions. BBB opening will lead to the leakage of large circulating molecules into the brain parenchyma. These invasive molecules will induce immune responses. Microglia and astrocytes are the two major cell types responsible for immune responses in the brain, and Fc gamma receptor I (FcγRI) and Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) are the two important receptors mediating these processes. Data suggest that activation of the FcγRI pathway mediates antiinflammatory processes, whereas activation of TLR4 pathway leads to proinflammatory activities. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that BBB opening could lead to alterations in FcγRI and TLR4 pathways in microglia and astrocytes, thus limiting excessive inflammation in the brain. The transient BBB opening was induced by adrenaline injection through a caudal vein in Sprague-Dawley rats. We found that the FcγRI pathway was significantly activated in both microglia and astrocytes, as exhibited by the up-regulation of FcγRI and its key downstream molecule Syk, as well as the increased production of the effector cytokines, interleukin (IL)-10 and IL-4. Interestingly, after transient BBB opening, TLR4 expression was also increased. However, the expression of MyD88, the central adapter of the TLR4 pathway, was significantly inhibited, with decreased production of the effector cytokines IL-12a and IL-1β. These results indicate that, after transient BBB opening, FcγRI-mediated antiinflammatory processes were activated, whereas TLR4-mediated proinflammatory activities were inhibited in microglia and astrocytes. This may represent an important neuroprotective mechanism of microglia and astrocytes that limits excessive inflammation after BBB opening.

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