The broad spectrum mixed-lineage kinase 3 inhibitor URMC-099 prevents acute microgliosis and cognitive decline in a mouse model of perioperative neurocognitive disorders.
BACKGROUND: Patients with pre-existing neurodegenerative disease commonly experience fractures that require orthopedic surgery. Perioperative neurocognitive disorders (PND), including delirium and postoperative cognitive dysfunction, are serious complications that can result in increased 1-year mortality when superimposed on dementia. Importantly, there are no disease-modifying therapeutic options for PND. Our lab developed the "broad spectrum" mixed-lineage kinase 3 inhibitor URMC-099 to inhibit pathological innate immune responses that underlie neuroinflammation-associated cognitive dysfunction. Here, we test the hypothesis that URMC-099 can prevent surgery-induced neuroinflammation and cognitive impairment. METHODS: Orthopedic surgery was performed by fracturing the tibia of the left hindlimb with intramedullary fixation under general anesthesia and analgesia. In a pilot experiment, 9-month-old mice were treated five times with URMC-099 (10 mg/kg, i.p.), spaced 12 h apart, with three doses prior to surgery and two doses following surgery. In this experiment, microgliosis was evaluated using unbiased stereology and blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability was assessed using immunoglobulin G (IgG) immunostaining. In follow-up experiments, 3-month-old mice were treated only three times with URMC-099 (10 mg/kg, i.p.), spaced 12 h apart, prior to orthopedic surgery. Two-photon scanning laser microscopy and CLARITY with light-sheet microscopy were used to define surgery-induced changes in microglial dynamics and morphology, respectively. Surgery-induced memory impairment was assessed using the "What-Where-When" and Memory Load Object Discrimination tasks. The acute peripheral immune response to surgery was assessed by cytokine/chemokine profiling and flow cytometry. Finally, long-term fracture healing was assessed in fracture callouses using micro-computerized tomography (microCT) and histomorphometry analyses. RESULTS: Orthopedic surgery induced BBB disruption and microglial activation, but had no effect on microglial process motility. Surgically treated mice exhibited impaired object place and identity discrimination in the "What-Where-When" and Memory Load Object Discrimination tasks. Both URMC-099 dosing paradigms prevented the neuroinflammatory sequelae that accompanied orthopedic surgery. URMC-099 prophylaxis had no effect on the mobilization of the peripheral innate immune response and fracture healing. CONCLUSIONS: These findings show that prophylactic URMC-099 treatment is sufficient to prevent surgery-induced microgliosis and cognitive impairment without affecting fracture healing. Together, these findings provide compelling evidence for the advancement of URMC-099 as a therapeutic option for PND.
Miller-Rhodes, P; Kong, C; Baht, GS; Saminathan, P; Rodriguiz, RM; Wetsel, WC; Gelbard, HA; Terrando, N
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