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Decreased MHC I expression in IFN gamma mutant mice alters synaptic elimination in the spinal cord after peripheral injury

Abstract

The histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I expression in the central nervous system (CNS) regulates synaptic plasticity events during development and adult life. Its upregulation may be associated with events such as axotomy, cytokine exposition and changes in neuron electrical activity. Since IFN³ is a potent inducer of the MHC I expression, the present work investigated the importance of this pro-inflammatory cytokine in the synaptic elimination process in the spinal cord, as well as the motor recovery of IFN-/-, following peripheral injury. The lumbar spinal cords of C57BL/6J (wild type) and IFN³-/- (mutant) mice, subjected to unilateral sciatic nerve transection, were removed and processed for immunohistochemistry and real time RT-PCR, while the sciatic nerves from animals subjected to unilateral crush, were submitted to immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy for counting of the axons. Gait recovery was monitored using the Cat Walk system. Newborn mice astrocyte primary cultures were established in order to study the astrocytic respose in the absence of the IFN³ expression. IFN³-/- mutant mice showed a decreased expression of MHC I and ²2-microglobulin mRNA coupled with reduced synaptophysin immunolabelling in the lesioned spinal cord segment. Following unilateral nerve transection, the Iba-1 and GFAP reactivities increased equally in both strains. In vitro, the astrocytes demonstrated similar GFAP levels, but the proliferation rate was higher in the wild type mice. In the crushed nerves (distal stump), neurofilaments and p75NTR immunolabeling were upregulated in the mutant mice as compared to the wild type, and an improvement in locomotor recovery was observed. The present results show that a lack of IFN³ affects the MHC I expression and the synaptic elimination process in the spinal cord. Such changes, however, do not delay peripheral nerve regeneration after nerve injury. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
VICTORIO, SHEILA C. S.; CARTAROZZI, LUCIANA P.; HELL, RAFAELA C. R.; OLIVEIRA, ALEXANDRE L. R. Decreased MHC I expression in IFN gamma mutant mice alters synaptic elimination in the spinal cord after peripheral injury. JOURNAL OF NEUROINFLAMMATION, v. 9, MAY 7 2012. Web of Science Citations: 7.

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