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Am J Pathol. 2011 Oct;179(4):2016-27. doi: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2011.06.011. Epub 2011 Aug 26.

Interleukin-34 selectively enhances the neuroprotective effects of microglia to attenuate oligomeric amyloid-β neurotoxicity.

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  • 1Department of Neuroimmunology, Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan. tmizuno@riem.nagoya-u.ac.jp


Microglia, macrophage-like resident immune cells in the brain, possess both neurotoxic and neuroprotective properties and have a critical role in the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD). We examined the function of Interleukin-34 (IL-34), a newly discovered cytokine, on microglia because it reportedly induces proliferation of monocytes and macrophages. We observed that the neuronal cells primarily produce IL-34 and that microglia express its receptor, colony-stimulating factor 1 receptor. IL-34 promoted microglial proliferation and clearance of soluble oligomeric amyloid-β (oAβ), which mediates synaptic dysfunction and neuronal damage in AD. IL-34 increased the expression of insulin-degrading enzyme, aiding the clearance of oAβ, and induced the antioxidant enzyme heme oxygenase-1 in microglia to reduce oxidative stress, without producing neurotoxic molecules. Consequently, microglia treated with IL-34 attenuated oAβ neurotoxicity in primary neuron-microglia co-cultures. In vivo, intracerebroventricular administration of IL-34 ameliorated impairment of associative learning and reduced oAβ levels through up-regulation of insulin-degrading enzyme and heme oxygenase-1 in an APP/PS1 transgenic mouse model of AD. These findings support the idea that enhancement of the neuroprotective property of microglia by IL-34 may be an effective approach against oAβ neurotoxicity in AD.

Copyright © 2011 American Society for Investigative Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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