IRF8 Is a Critical Transcription Factor for Transforming Microglia into a Reactive Phenotype

Takahiro Masuda, Tsuda Makoto, Ryohei Yoshinaga, Hidetoshi Saitoh, Keiko Ozato, Tomohiko Tamura, Kazuhide Inoue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

129 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Microglia become activated by multiple types of damage in the nervous system and play essential roles in neuronal pathologies. However, how microglia transform into reactive phenotypes is poorly understood. Here, we identify the transcription factor interferon regulatory factor 8 (IRF8) as a critical regulator of reactive microglia. Within the spinal cord, IRF8 expression was normally low; however, the expression was markedly upregulated in microglia, but not in neurons or astrocytes, after peripheral nerve injury (PNI). IRF8 overexpression in cultured microglia promoted the transcription of genes associated with reactive states; conversely, IRF8 deficiency prevented these gene expressions in the spinal cord following PNI. Furthermore, IRF8-deficient mice were resistant to neuropathic pain, a common sequela of PNI, and transferring IRF8-overexpressing microglia spinally to normal mice produced pain. Therefore, IRF8 may activate a program of gene expression that transforms microglia into a reactive phenotype. Our findings provide a newly observed mechanism for microglial activation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-340
Number of pages7
JournalCell Reports
Volume1
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 19 2012

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Microglia
Transcription Factors
Phenotype
Peripheral Nerve Injuries
Gene expression
Spinal Cord
Gene Expression
Neurology
Neuralgia
Pathology
Transcription
interferon regulatory factor-8
Astrocytes
Nervous System
Neurons
Genes
Chemical activation
Pain

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Cite this

IRF8 Is a Critical Transcription Factor for Transforming Microglia into a Reactive Phenotype. / Masuda, Takahiro; Makoto, Tsuda; Yoshinaga, Ryohei; Saitoh, Hidetoshi; Ozato, Keiko; Tamura, Tomohiko; Inoue, Kazuhide.

In: Cell Reports, Vol. 1, No. 4, 19.03.2012, p. 334-340.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Masuda, Takahiro ; Makoto, Tsuda ; Yoshinaga, Ryohei ; Saitoh, Hidetoshi ; Ozato, Keiko ; Tamura, Tomohiko ; Inoue, Kazuhide. / IRF8 Is a Critical Transcription Factor for Transforming Microglia into a Reactive Phenotype. In: Cell Reports. 2012 ; Vol. 1, No. 4. pp. 334-340.
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