Triggering Receptor Expressed on Myeloid Cells 2, a Novel Regulator of Immunocyte Phenotypes, Confers Neuroprotection by Relieving Neuroinflammation

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Abstract

Background:

Microglia can not only detrimentally augment secondary injury but also potentially promote recovery. However, the mechanism underlying the regulation of microglial phenotypes after stroke remains unclear.

Methods:

Mice were subjected to middle cerebral artery occlusion for 60 min. At 3 days after reperfusion, the effects of activation and suppression of triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 on immunocyte phenotypes (n = 5), neurobehavioral scores (n = 7), infarct volumes (n = 8), and neuronal apoptosis (n = 7) were analyzed. In vitro, cultured microglia were exposed to oxygen–glucose deprivation for 4 h. Inflammatory cytokines, cellular viability (n = 8), neuronal apoptosis (n = 7), and triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 expression (n = 5) were evaluated in the presence or absence of triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cell-specific small interfering RNA or triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 overexpression lentivirus.

Results:

Triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 expression in the ischemic penumbra peaked at 3 days after ischemia–reperfusion injury (4.4 ± 0.1-fold, P = 0.0004) and was enhanced in interleukin-4/interleukin-13–treated microglia in vitro (1.7 ± 0.2-fold, P = 0.0119). After oxygen–glucose deprivation, triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 conferred neuroprotection by regulating the phenotypic conversion of microglia and inflammatory cytokine release. Intraperitoneal administration of triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 agonist heat shock protein 60 or unilateral delivery of a recombinant triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 lentivirus into the cerebral ventricle induced a significant neuroprotective effect in mice (apoptotic neurons decreased to 31.3 ± 7.6%; infarct volume decreased to 44.9 ± 5.3%). All values are presented as the mean ± SD.

Conclusions:

Activation or up-regulation of triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 promoted the phenotypic conversion of microglia and decreased the number of apoptotic neurons. Our study suggests that triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 is a novel regulator of microglial phenotypes and may be a potential therapeutic target for stroke.

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