Myeloid C/EBPβ deficiency reshapes microglial gene expression and is protective in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis
Background CCAAT/enhancer binding protein β (C/EBPβ) is a transcription factor that regulates the expression of important pro-inflammatory genes in microglia. Mice deficient for C/EBPβ show protection against excitotoxic and ischemic CNS damage, but the involvement in this neuroprotective effect of the various C/EBPβ-expressing cell types is not solved. Since C/EBPβ-deficient microglia show attenuated neurotoxicity in culture, we hypothesized that specific C/EBPβ deficiency in microglia could be neuroprotective in vivo. In this study, we have tested this hypothesis by generating mice with myeloid C/EBPβ deficiency. Methods Mice with myeloid C/EBPβ deficiency were generated by crossing LysMCre and C/EBPβfl/fl mice. Primary microglial cultures from C/EBPβfl/fl and LysMCre-C/EBPβfl/fl mice were treated with lipopolysaccharide ± interferon γ (IFNγ) for 6 h, and gene expression was analyzed by RNA sequencing. Gene expression and C/EBPβ deletion were analyzed in vivo in microglia isolated from the brains of C/EBPβfl/fl and LysMCre-C/EBPβfl/fl mice treated systemically with lipolysaccharide or vehicle. Mice of LysMCre-C/EBPβfl/fl or control genotypes were subjected to experimental autoimmune encephalitis and analyzed for clinical signs for 52 days. One- or two-way ANOVA or KruskalWallis with their appropriate post hoc tests were used. Results LysMCre-C/EBPβfl/fl mice showed an efficiency of C/EBPβ deletion in microglia of 100 and 90% in vitro and in vivo, respectively. These mice were devoid of female infertility, perinatal mortality and reduced lifespan that are associated to full C/EBPβ deficiency. Transcriptomic analysis of C/EBPβ-deficient primary microglia revealed C/EBPβ-dependent expression of 1068 genes, significantly enriched in inflammatory and innate immune responses GO terms. In vivo, microglial expression of the pro-inflammatory genes Cybb, Ptges, Il23a, Tnf and Csf3 induced by systemic lipopolysaccharide injection was also blunted by C/EBPβ deletion. CNS expression of C/EBPβ was upregulated in experimental autoimmune encephalitis and in multiple sclerosis samples. Finally, LysMCre-C/EBPβfl/fl mice showed robust attenuation of clinical signs in experimental autoimmune encephalitis. Conclusion This study provides new data that support a central role for C/EBPβ in the biology of activated microglia, and it offers proof of concept for the therapeutic potential of microglial C/EBPβ inhibition in multiple sclerosis.
Source (journal)
Journal of neuroinflammation. - London
London : 2017
14 (2017) , 20 p.
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Creation 10.10.2018
Last edited 07.02.2023
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