JNK signaling is the shared pathway linking neuroinflammation, blood–brain barrier disruption, and oligodendroglial apoptosis in the white matter injury of the immature brain
1 Institute of Clinical Medicine, National Cheng Kung University College of Medicine, 35 Hsiao-Tung Road, North District, 704, Tainan, Taiwan
2 Department of Pediatrics, Chi Mei Medical Center, 901 Chung-Hua Road, Yung-Kang Disctrict, 710, Tainan, Taiwan
3 Departments of Emergency Medicine, National Cheng Kung University College of Medicine and Hospital, 138 Sheng-Li Road, 704, Tainan, Taiwan
4 Departments of Pediatrics, National Cheng Kung, University College of Medicine and Hospital, 138 Sheng-Li Road, 704, Tainan, Taiwan
Journal of Neuroinflammation 2012, 9:175 doi:10.1186/1742-2094-9-175Published: 17 July 2012
White matter injury is the major form of brain damage in very preterm infants. Selective white matter injury in the immature brain can be induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-sensitized hypoxic-ischemia (HI) in the postpartum (P) day 2 rat pups whose brain maturation status is equivalent to that in preterm infants less than 30 weeks of gestation. Neuroinflammation, blood–brain barrier (BBB) damage and oligodendrocyte progenitor apoptosis may affect the susceptibility of LPS-sensitized HI in white matter injury. c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNK) are important stress-responsive kinases in various forms of insults. We hypothesized that LPS-sensitized HI causes white matter injury through JNK activation-mediated neuroinflammation, BBB leakage and oligodendroglial apoptosis in the white matter of P2 rat pups.
P2 pups received LPS (0.05 mg/kg) or normal saline injection followed by 90-min HI. Immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting were used to determine microglia activation, TNF-α, BBB damage, cleaved caspase-3, JNK and phospho-JNK (p-JNK), myelin basic protein (MBP), and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) expression. Immunofluorescence was performed to determine the cellular distribution of p-JNK. Pharmacological and genetic approaches were used to inhibit JNK activity.
P2 pups had selective white matter injury associated with upregulation of activated microglia, TNF-α, IgG extravasation and oligodendroglial progenitor apoptosis after LPS-sensitized HI. Immunohistochemical analyses showed early and sustained JNK activation in the white matter at 6 and 24 h post-insult. Immunofluorescence demonstrated upregulation of p-JNK in activated microglia, vascular endothelial cells and oligodendrocyte progenitors, and also showed perivascular aggregation of p-JNK-positive cells around the vessels 24 h post-insult. JNK inhibition by AS601245 or by antisense oligodeoxynucleotides (ODN) significantly reduced microglial activation, TNF-α immunoreactivity, IgG extravasation, and cleaved caspase-3 in the endothelial cells and oligodendrocyte progenitors, and also attenuated perivascular aggregation of p-JNK-positive cells 24 h post-insult. The AS601245 or JNK antisense ODN group had significantly increased MBP and decreased GFAP expression in the white matter on P11 than the vehicle or scrambled ODN group.
LPS-sensitized HI causes white matter injury through JNK activation-mediated upregulation of neuroinflammation, BBB leakage and oligodendrocyte progenitor apoptosis in the immature brain.