Format

Send to

Choose Destination
J Neuroinflammation. 2016 Jan 27;13:21. doi: 10.1186/s12974-016-0484-z.

Characterization of a novel adult murine immortalized microglial cell line and its activation by amyloid-beta.

Author information

1
Department of Genetics and Complex Diseases, Harvard School of Public Health, 655 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA, 02115, USA. rmccarth@hsph.harvard.edu.
2
Department of Genetics and Complex Diseases, Harvard School of Public Health, 655 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA, 02115, USA. dahyuu@mail.cmu.edu.tw.
3
Present Address: Graduate Institute of Neural and Cognitive Sciences, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan, Republic of China. dahyuu@mail.cmu.edu.tw.
4
Department of Genetics and Complex Diseases, Harvard School of Public Health, 655 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA, 02115, USA. aalkhateeb@mgh.harvard.edu.
5
Present Address: The Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA. aalkhateeb@mgh.harvard.edu.
6
Department of Genetics and Complex Diseases, Harvard School of Public Health, 655 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA, 02115, USA. garde046@umn.edu.
7
Department of Genetics and Complex Diseases, Harvard School of Public Health, 655 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA, 02115, USA. clee@hsph.harvard.edu.
8
Department of Genetics and Complex Diseases, Harvard School of Public Health, 655 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA, 02115, USA. wessling@hsph.harvard.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Alzheimer's disease is associated with amyloid-beta (Aβ)-induced microglia activation. This pro-inflammatory response promotes neuronal damage, and therapies are sought to limit microglial activation. Screening efforts to develop new pharmacological inhibitors require a robust in vitro cell system. Current models lack significant responses to Aβ, and their use in examining age-related neurodegenerative diseases is questionable. For example, the commonly used BV-2 microglial line was derived from embryonic mononuclear cells and its activation by various stimuli is limited. To this end, we have established a new immortalized microglial (IMG) cell line from adult murine brain. The objective of this study was to characterize Aβ-induced activation of IMG cells, and here, we demonstrate the ability of cannabinoids to significantly reduce this inflammatory response.

METHODS:

Microglial cells derived from adult murine brain were immortalized via infection with the v-raf/v-myc retrovirus under conditions that selectively promote microglia growth. The presence or absence of markers CD11b and F4/80 (microglial), NeuN (neuronal), and GFAP (astrocytic) was assessed by immunofluorescence microscopy and western blotting. Using IMG and BV-2 cells, levels of pro- and anti-inflammatory transcripts in response to extracellular stimuli were determined by quantitative PCR (qPCR). Phagocytosis of fluorescent beads and fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-labeled Aβ oligomers was assessed using flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy. FITC-Aβ uptake was quantified using a fluorescence plate reader. The ability of cannabinoids to mitigate Aβ-induced expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) was evaluated.

RESULTS:

IMG cells express the microglial markers CD11b and F4/80 but not NeuN or GFAP. Relative to BV-2 cells, IMG cells increased iNOS (>200-fold) and Arg-1 (>100-fold) in response to pro- and anti-inflammatory stimuli. IMG cells phagocytose foreign particles and Aβ oligomers, with the latter trafficked to phagolysosomes. Aβ-induced activation of IMG cells was suppressed by delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and the CB2-selective agonist JWH-015 in a time- and concentration-dependent manner.

CONCLUSIONS:

IMG cells recapitulate key features of microglial cell activation. As an example of their potential pharmacological use, cannabinoids were shown to reduce activation of Aβ-induced iNOS gene expression. IMG cells hold promising potential for drug screening, mechanistic studies, and functional investigations directed towards understanding how Aβ interacts with microglia.

PMID:
26819091
PMCID:
PMC4730646
DOI:
10.1186/s12974-016-0484-z
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for BioMed Central Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center