Microglial TNFR2 signaling regulates the inflammatory response after CNS injury in a sex-specific fashion

Stefano Raffaele, Estrid Thougaard, Cathrine C.H. Laursen, Han Gao, Katrine M. Andersen, Pernille V. Nielsen, Natalia Ortí-Casañ, Morten Blichfeldt-Eckhardt, Simon Koch, Milani Deb-Chatterji, Tim Magnus, Jane Stubbe, Kirsten Madsen, Morten Meyer, Matilda Degn, Ulrich L. M. Eisel, Agnieszka Wlodarczyk, Marta Fumagalli, Bettina H. Clausen, Roberta Brambilla*Kate L. Lambertsen*

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

1 Citaat (Scopus)
23 Downloads (Pure)


Microglia, the resident immune cells of the central nervous system (CNS), play a major role in damage progression and tissue remodeling after acute CNS injury, including ischemic stroke (IS) and spinal cord injury (SCI). Understanding the molecular mechanisms regulating microglial responses to injury may thus reveal novel therapeutic targets to promote CNS repair. Here, we investigated the role of microglial tumor necrosis factor receptor 2 (TNFR2), a transmembrane receptor previously associated with pro-survival and neuroprotective responses, in shaping the neuroinflammatory environment after CNS injury. By inducing experimental IS and SCI in Cx3cr1CreER:Tnfrsf1bfl/fl mice, selectively lacking TNFR2 in microglia, and corresponding Tnfrsf1bfl/fl littermate controls, we found that ablation of microglial TNFR2 significantly reduces lesion size and pro-inflammatory cytokine levels, and favors infiltration of leukocytes after injury. Interestingly, these effects were paralleled by opposite sex-specific modifications of microglial reactivity, which was found to be limited in female TNFR2-ablated mice compared to controls, whereas it was enhanced in males. In addition, we show that TNFR2 protein levels in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of human subjects affected by IS and SCI, as well as healthy donors, significantly correlate with disease stage and severity, representing a valuable tool to monitor the inflammatory response after acute CNS injury. Hence, these results advance our understanding of the mechanisms regulating microglia reactivity after acute CNS injury, aiding the development of sex- and microglia-specific, personalized neuroregenerative strategies.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)269-285
Aantal pagina's17
TijdschriftBrain, Behavior, and Immunity
StatusPublished - feb.-2024


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