Systemic administration of beta-glucan induces immune training in microglia

Yang Heng, Xiaoming Zhang, Malte Borggrewe, Hilmar R J van Weering, Maaike L Brummer, Tjalling W Nijboer, Leo A B Joosten, Mihai G Netea, Erik W G M Boddeke, Jon D Laman, Bart J L Eggen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: An innate immune memory response can manifest in two ways: immune training and immune tolerance, which refers to an enhanced or suppressed immune response to a second challenge, respectively. Exposing monocytes to moderate-to-high amounts of bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induces immune tolerance, whereas fungal β-glucan (BG) induces immune training. In microglia, it has been shown that different LPS inocula in vivo can induce either immune training or tolerance. Few studies focused on impact of BG on microglia and were only performed in vitro. The aim of the current study was to determine whether BG activates and induces immune memory in microglia upon peripheral administration in vivo.

METHODS: Two experimental designs were used. In the acute design, mice received an intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection with PBS, 1 mg/kg LPS or 20 mg/kg BG and were terminated after 3 h, 1 or 2 days. In the preconditioning design, animals were first challenged i.p. with PBS, 1 mg/kg LPS or 20 mg/kg BG. After 2, 7 or 14 days, mice received a second injection with PBS or 1 mg/kg LPS and were sacrificed 3 h later. Microglia were isolated by fluorescence-activated cell sorting, and cytokine gene expression levels were determined. In addition, a self-developed program was used to analyze microglia morphological changes. Cytokine concentrations in serum were determined by a cytokine array.

RESULTS: Microglia exhibited a classical inflammatory response to LPS, showing significant upregulation of Tnf, Il6, Il1β, Ccl2, Ccl3 and Csf1 expression, three h after injection, and obvious morphological changes 1 and 2 days after injection. With an interval of 2 days between two challenges, both BG and LPS induced immune training in microglia. The training effect of LPS changed into immune tolerance after a 7-day interval between 2 LPS challenges. Preconditioning with BG and LPS resulted in increased morphological changes in microglia in response to a systemic LPS challenge compared to naïve microglia.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results demonstrate that preconditioning with BG and LPS both induced immune training of microglia at two days after the first challenge. However, with an interval of 7 days between the first and second challenge, LPS-preconditioning resulted in immune tolerance in microglia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number57
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of neuroinflammation
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22-Feb-2021

Keywords

  • microglia
  • innate immune memory
  • training
  • tolerance
  • beta-glucan
  • lipopolysaccharide
  • morphology
  • cytokine

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