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Activated microglia modulate astroglial enzymes involved in oxidative and inflammatory stress and increase the resistance of astrocytes to oxidative stress in vitro.

Rohl C., Armbrust E., Kolbe K., Lucius R., Maser E., Venz S., Gulden M.

Neuropathological processes in the central nervous system are commonly accompanied by an activation of microglia and astrocytes. The involvement of both cell populations in the onset and progress of neurological disorders has been widely documented, implicating both beneficial and detrimental influences on the neural tissue. Nevertheless, little is known about the interplay of these glial cell populations, especially under diseased conditions. To examine the effects of activated microglia on astrocytes purified rat astroglial cell cultures were treated with medium conditioned by purified quiescent (MCM[-]) or lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated rat microglia (MCM[+]) and subjected to a comparative proteome analysis based on two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. No significant down regulation of proteins was observed. The majority of the 19 proteins identified by means of nano HPLC/ESI-MS/MS in the 12 most prominent protein spots significantly overexpressed (> or =2-fold) in MCM[+] treated astrocytes are involved in inflammatory processes and oxidative stress response: superoxide dismutases (Sod), peroxiredoxins, glutathione S-transferases (Gst), nucleoside diphosphate kinase B, argininosuccinate synthase (Ass), and cellular retinol-binding protein I (Rbp1). Sod2, Rbp1, Gstp1, and Ass were also significantly increased on the mRNA level determined by quantitative RT-PCR. The upregulation of antioxidative enzymes in astrocytes was accompanied by a higher resistance to oxidative stress induced by H2O2. These results show that activated microglia change the expression of antioxidative proteins in astrocytes and protect them against oxidative stress, which might be an effective way to increase the neuroprotective potential of astrocytes under pathological conditions associated with oxidative stress and inflammation.

Glia 56:1114-1126(2008) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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