Aims: Microglial cells are brain-resident macrophages engaged in surveillance and maintained in a constant state of relative inactivity. However, their involvement in autoimmune diseases indicates that in pathological conditions microglia gain an inflammatory phenotype. The mechanisms underlying this change in the microglial phenotype are still unclear. Since metabolism is an important modulator of immune cell function, we focused our attention on glutamine synthetase (GS), a modulator of the response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) activation in other cell types, which is expressed by microglia. Results: GS inhibition enhances release of inflammatory mediators of LPS-activated microglia in vitro, leading to perturbation of the redox balance and decreased viability of cocultured neurons. GS inhibition also decreases insulin-mediated glucose uptake in microglia. In vivo, microglia-specific GS ablation enhances expression of inflammatory markers upon LPS treatment. In the spinal cords from experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), GS expression levels and glutamine/glutamate ratios are reduced. Innovation: Recently, metabolism has been highlighted as mediator of immune cell function through the discovery of mechanisms that (behind these metabolic changes) modulate the inflammatory response. The present study shows for the first time a metabolic mechanism mediating microglial response to a proinflammatory stimulus, pointing to GS activity as a master modulator of immune cell function and thus unraveling a potential therapeutic target. Conclusions: Our study highlights a new role of GS in modulating immune response in microglia, providing insights into the pathogenic mechanisms associated with inflammation and new strategies of therapeutic intervention.

Blockade of Glutamine Synthetase Enhances Inflammatory Response in Microglial Cells

Mazzone M.;
2017-01-01

Abstract

Aims: Microglial cells are brain-resident macrophages engaged in surveillance and maintained in a constant state of relative inactivity. However, their involvement in autoimmune diseases indicates that in pathological conditions microglia gain an inflammatory phenotype. The mechanisms underlying this change in the microglial phenotype are still unclear. Since metabolism is an important modulator of immune cell function, we focused our attention on glutamine synthetase (GS), a modulator of the response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) activation in other cell types, which is expressed by microglia. Results: GS inhibition enhances release of inflammatory mediators of LPS-activated microglia in vitro, leading to perturbation of the redox balance and decreased viability of cocultured neurons. GS inhibition also decreases insulin-mediated glucose uptake in microglia. In vivo, microglia-specific GS ablation enhances expression of inflammatory markers upon LPS treatment. In the spinal cords from experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), GS expression levels and glutamine/glutamate ratios are reduced. Innovation: Recently, metabolism has been highlighted as mediator of immune cell function through the discovery of mechanisms that (behind these metabolic changes) modulate the inflammatory response. The present study shows for the first time a metabolic mechanism mediating microglial response to a proinflammatory stimulus, pointing to GS activity as a master modulator of immune cell function and thus unraveling a potential therapeutic target. Conclusions: Our study highlights a new role of GS in modulating immune response in microglia, providing insights into the pathogenic mechanisms associated with inflammation and new strategies of therapeutic intervention.
2017
glutamine
glutamine synthetase
insulin resistance
microglia
neuroinflammation
Animals
Biomarkers
Cell Survival
Cells
Cultured
Disease Models
Animal
Encephalomyelitis
Autoimmune
Experimental
Enzyme Activation
Female
Gene Expression
Glucose
Glutamate-Ammonia Ligase
Inflammation
Insulin
Lipopolysaccharides
Metabolome
Metabolomics
Mice
Mice
Knockout
Microglia
Neurons
Nitric Oxide
Reactive Oxygen Species
Spinal Cord
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11699/83196
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