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Signal pathways in astrocytes activated by cross-talk between of astrocytes and mast cells through CD40-CD40L.


Astrocytes, which play an active role in chronic inflammatory diseases like multiple sclerosis, exist close to mast cells with which they share perivascular localization. We previously demonstrated the possibility that astrocytes and mast cells interact in vitro and in vivo. This study aimed to investigate the signaling pathways and the role for astrocytes in the interaction of astrocytes and mast cells.We co-cultured human U87 glioblastoma (U87) and human mast cell-1 (HMC-1) cell lines, and mouse cerebral cortices-derived astrocytes and mouse bone marrow-derived mast cells (BMMCs). Intracellular Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i) was measured by confocal microscopy; CD40 siRNA by Silencer Express Kit; small GTPases by GTP-pull down assay; PKCs, MAPKs, CD40, CD40L, Jak1/2, STAT1, TNF receptor 1 (TNFR1) by Western blot; NF-κB and AP-1 by EMSA; cytokines by RT-PCR. An experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE) model was induced using myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) peptide and pertussis toxin in mice. Co-localization of TNFR1 and astrocytes in EAE brain tissues was determined by immunohistochemistry.Each astrocyte co-culture had increases in [Ca2+]i levels, release of cytokines and chemokines; activities of Rho-family GTPases, NF-κB/AP-1/STAT1727, and Jack1/2, STAT1701. These effects were inhibited by anti-CD40 antibody or CD40 siRNA, and signaling pathways for Jak1/2 were inhibited by anti-TNFR1 antibody. EAE score, expression of TNFR1, and co-localization of TNFR1 and astrocytes were enhanced in brain of the EAE model. Anti-CD40 antibody or 8-oxo-dG pretreatment reduced these effects in EAE model.These data suggest that astrocytes activated by the CD40-CD40L interaction in co-culture induce inflammatory cytokine production via small GTPases, and the secreted cytokines re-activate astrocytes via Jak/STAT1701 pathways, and then release more cytokines that contribute to exacerbating the development of EAE. These findings imply that the pro-inflammatory mediators produced by cell-to-cell cross-talk via interaction of CD40-CD40L may be as a promising therapeutic target for neurodegenerative diseases like MS.