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Transcript analysis of laser capture microdissected white matter astrocytes and higher phenol sulfotransferase 1A1 expression during autoimmune neuroinflammation: STUDY
























Abstract

Background:
Astrocytes, the most abundant cell population in mammal central nervous system (CNS), contribute to a variety of functions including homeostasis, metabolism, synapse formation, and myelin maintenance. White matter (WM) reactive astrocytes are important players in amplifying autoimmune demyelination and may exhibit different changes in transcriptome profiles and cell function in a disease-context dependent manner. However, their transcriptomic profile has not yet been defined because they are difficult to purify, compared to gray matter astrocytes. Here, we isolated WM astrocytes by laser capture microdissection (LCM) in a murine model of multiple sclerosis to better define their molecular profile focusing on selected genes related to inflammation. Based on previous data indicating anti-inflammatory effects of estrogen only at high nanomolar doses, we also examined mRNA expression for enzymes involved in steroid inactivation.

Methods:
Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) was induced in female C57BL6 mice with MOG 35–55 immunization. Fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) analysis of a portion of individual spinal cords at peak disease was used to assess the composition of immune cell infiltrates. Using custom Taqman low-density-array (TLDA), we analyzed mRNA expression of 40 selected genes from immuno-labeled laser-microdissected WM astrocytes from lumbar spinal cord sections of EAE and control mice. Immunohistochemistry and double immunofluorescence on control and EAE mouse spinal cord sections were used to confirm protein expression in astrocytes.

Results:
The spinal cords of EAE mice were infiltrated mostly by effector/memory T CD4+ cells and macrophages. TLDA-based profiling of LCM-astrocytes identified EAE-induced gene expression of cytokines and chemokines as well as inflammatory mediators recently described in gray matter reactive astrocytes in other murine CNS disease models. Strikingly, SULT1A1, but not other members of the sulfotransferase family, was expressed in WM spinal cord astrocytes. Moreover, its expression was further increased in EAE. Immunohistochemistry on spinal cord tissues confirmed preferential expression of this enzyme in WM astrocytic processes but not in gray matter astrocytes.

Conclusions:
We described here for the first time the mRNA expression of several genes in WM astrocytes in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis. Besides expected pro-inflammatory chemokines and specific inflammatory mediators increased during EAE, we evidenced relative high astrocytic expression of the cytoplasmic enzyme SULT1A1. As the sulfonation activity of SULT1A1 inactivates estradiol among other phenolic substrates, its high astrocytic expression may account for the relative resistance of this cell population to the anti-neuroinflammatory effects of estradiol. Blocking the activity of this enzyme during neuroinflammation may thus help the injured CNS to maintain the anti-inflammatory activity of endogenous estrogens or limit the dose of estrogen co-regimens for therapeutical purposes.

Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by JOURNALOFNEUROINFLAMMATION
Note: Materials may be edited for content and length

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