Th1 cells downregulate connexin 43 gap junctions in astrocytes via microglial activation

Mitsuru Watanabe, Katsuhisa Masaki, Ryo Yamasaki, Jun Kawanokuchi, Hideyuki Takeuchi, Takuya Matsushita, Akio Suzumura, Jun-Ichi Kira

研究成果: ジャーナルへの寄稿学術誌査読

32 被引用数 (Scopus)


We previously reported early and extensive loss of astrocytic connexin 43 (Cx43) in acute demyelinating lesions of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. Because it is widely accepted that autoimmune T cells initiate MS lesions, we hypothesized that infiltrating T cells affect Cx43 expression in astrocytes, which contributes to MS lesion formation. Primary mixed glial cell cultures were prepared from newborn mouse brains, and microglia were isolated by anti-CD11b antibody-conjugated magnetic beads. Next, we prepared astrocyte-rich cultures and astrocyte/microglia-mixed cultures. Treatment of primary mixed glial cell cultures with interferon (IFN) γ, interleukin (IL)-4, or IL-17 showed that only IFNβ or IL-17 at high concentrations reduced Cx43 protein levels. Upon treatment of astrocyte-rich cultures and astrocyte/microglia-mixed cultures with IFNγ;, Cx43 mRNA/protein levels and the function of gap junctions were reduced only in astrocyte/microglia-mixed cultures. IFNγ-treated microglia-conditioned media and IL-1β, which was markedly increased in IFNγ-treated microglia-conditioned media, reduced Cx43 protein levels in astrocyte-rich cultures. Finally, we confirmed that Th1 cell-conditioned medium decreased Cx43 protein levels in mixed glial cell cultures. These findings suggest that Th1 cell-derived IFNγ activates microglia to release IL-1β that reduces Cx43 gap junctions in astrocytes. Thus, Th1-dominant inflammatory states disrupt astrocytic intercellular communication and may exacerbate MS.

ジャーナルScientific reports
出版ステータス出版済み - 12月 8 2016

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