UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Modelling Microglial Innate Immune Memory In Vitro : Understanding the Role of Aerobic Glycolysis in Innate Immune Memory Towriss, Morgan; MacVicar, Brian; Ciernia, Annie Vogel


Microglia, the resident macrophages of the central nervous system, play important roles in maintaining brain homeostasis and facilitating the brain’s innate immune responses. Following immune challenges microglia also retain immune memories, which can alter responses to secondary inflammatory challenges. Microglia have two main memory states, training and tolerance, which are associated with increased and attenuated expression of inflammatory cytokines, respectively. However, the mechanisms differentiating these two distinct states are not well understood. We investigated mechanisms underlying training versus tolerance memory paradigms in vitro in BV2 cells using B-cell-activating factor (BAFF) or bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) as a priming stimulus followed by LPS as a second stimulus. BAFF followed by LPS showed enhanced responses indicative of priming, whereas LPS followed by LPS as the second stimulus caused reduced responses suggestive of tolerance. The main difference between the BAFF versus the LPS stimulus was the induction of aerobic glycolysis by LPS. Inhibiting aerobic glycolysis during the priming stimulus using sodium oxamate prevented the establishment of the tolerized memory state. In addition, tolerized microglia were unable to induce aerobic glycolysis upon LPS restimulus. Therefore, we conclude that aerobic glycolysis triggered by the first LPS stimulus was a critical step in the induction of innate immune tolerance.

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