EBI2 regulates pro-inflammatory signalling and cytokine release in astrocytes

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The endogenous oxysterol 7α, 25-dihydroxycholesterol (7α25HC) ligand activates the G protein-coupled receptor EBI2 to regulate T cell-dependant antibody response and B cell migration. We have demonstrated that EBI2 is expressed in human and mouse astrocytes, that 7α25HC induces intracellular signalling and astrocyte migration, and that EBI2 plays a role in the crosstalk between astrocytes and macrophages. Recently, we demonstrate that EBI2 regulates myelin development and inhibits LPC-induced demyelination. Here, we show that 7α25HC inhibits LPS- and IL17/TNF-induced pro-inflammatory cytokine release in astrocytes. We observe the following: 1. Human astrocytes treated with IL17/TNF increases the nuclear translocation of NFκB, which is attenuated by pre-treatment with 7α25HC; 2. IL17/TNF increases cell impedance in human astrocytes, which is also attenuated by pre-treatment with 7α25HC; 3. The EBI2 antagonist NIBR189 inhibits these effects of 7α25HC, supporting the role of EBI2; 4. in vivo data corroborate these in vitro findings, showing that EBI2 knock-out (KO) animals display enhanced pro-inflammatory cytokine in response to LPS challenge, in the brain. These results demonstrate a role for oxysterol/EBI2 signalling in attenuating the response of astrocytes to pro-inflammatory signals as well as limiting the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the brain.

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