HMGB1 acts on microglia Mac1 to mediate chronic neuroinflammation that drives progressive neurodegeneration.
What drives the gradual degeneration of dopamine neurons in Parkinson's disease (PD), the second most common neurodegenerative disease, remains elusive. Here, we demonstrated, for the first time, that persistent neuroinflammation was indispensible for such a neurodegenerative process. 1-Methyl-4-phenylpyridinium, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and rotenone, three toxins often used to create PD models, produced acute but nonprogressive neurotoxicity in neuron-enriched cultures. In the presence of microglia (brain immune cells), these toxins induced progressive dopaminergic neurodegeneration. More importantly, such neurodegeneration was prevented by removing activated microglia. Collectively, chronic neuroinflammation may be a driving force of progressive dopaminergic neurodegeneration. Conversely, ongoing neurodegeneration sustained microglial activation. Microglial activation persisted only in the presence of neuronal damage in LPS-treated neuron-glia cultures but not in LPS-treated mixed-glia cultures. Thus, activated microglia and damaged neurons formed a vicious cycle mediating chronic, progressive neurodegeneration. Mechanistic studies indicated that HMGB1 (high-mobility group box 1), released from inflamed microglia and/or degenerating neurons, bound to microglial Mac1 (macrophage antigen complex 1) and activated nuclear factor-κB pathway and NADPH oxidase to stimulate production of multiple inflammatory and neurotoxic factors. The treatment of microglia with HMGB1 led to membrane translocation of p47(phox) (a cytosolic subunit of NADPH oxidase) and consequent superoxide release, which required the presence of Mac1. Neutralization of HMGB1 and genetic ablation of Mac1 and gp91(phox) (the catalytic submit of NADPH oxidase) blocked the progressive neurodegeneration. Our findings indicated that HMGB1-Mac1-NADPH oxidase signaling axis bridged chronic neuroinflammation and progressive dopaminergic neurodegeneration, thus identifying a mechanistic basis for chronic PD progression.
Gao, H-M; Zhou, H; Zhang, F; Wilson, BC; Kam, W; Hong, J-S
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