Dual Role of Superoxide Dismutase 2 Induced in Activated Microglia: Oxidative Stress Tolerance and Convergence of Inflammatory Responses [Gene Regulation]

July 31st, 2015 by Ishihara, Y., Takemoto, T., Itoh, K., Ishida, A., Yamazaki, T.

Microglia are activated quickly in response to external pathogens or cell debris and clear these substances via the inflammatory response. However, excessive activation of microglia can be harmful to host cells due to the increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and proinflammatory cytokines. Superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2) is reportedly induced under various inflammatory conditions in the central nervous system. We herein demonstrated that activated microglia strongly express SOD2 and examined the role of SOD2, focusing on regulation of the microglial activity and their susceptibility to oxidative stress. When rat primary microglia were treated with LPS, poly (I:C), peptidoglycan or CpG oligodeoxynucleotide, respectively, the mRNA and protein levels of SOD2 largely increased. However, an increased expression of SOD2 was not detected in the primary neurons or astrocytes, indicating that SOD2 is specifically induced in microglia under inflammatory conditions. The activated microglia showed high tolerance to oxidative stress, while SOD2 knockdown conferred vulnerability to oxidative stress. Interestingly, the production of proinflammatory cytokines was increased in the activated microglia treated with SOD2 siRNA compared with that observed in the control siRNA-treated cells. Pretreatment with NADPH oxidase inhibitors, diphenylene iodonium and apocynin, decreased in not only ROS generation, but also the proinflammatory cytokine expression. Notably, SOD2 knockdown largely potentiated the nuclear factor kB (NF-kB) activity in the activated microglia. Taken together, increased SOD2 conferred tolerance to oxidative stress in the microglia and decreased proinflammatory cytokine production by attenuating the NF-kB activity. Therefore, SOD2 might regulate neuroinflammation by controlling the microglial activities.
  • Posted in Journal of Biological Chemistry, Publications
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