Neuronal Soluble Fas Ligand Drives M1-Microglia Polarization after Cerebral Ischemia

This study explored sFasL expression in neurons and the potential role of neuronal sFasL in modulating the microglial phenotypes.

In vivo, middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) was induced in both FasL-mutant (gld) and wild-type (wt) mice. In vitro, primary cortical neuron or microglia or coculture from wt/gld mice was subjected to oxygen glucose deprivation (OGD). sFasL level in the supernatant was evaluated by ELISA. Neuronal-conditioned medium (NCM) or exogenous sFasL was applied to primary microglia with or without FasL neutralizing antibody. Protein expression of JAK2/STAT3 and NF-κB pathways were determined by Western blot. The effect of microglia phenotype from wt/gld mice on the fate of ischemic neurons was further elucidated.

In vivo, compared with wild-type mice, M1 markers (CD16, CD32 and iNOS) were attenuated in gld mice after MCAO. In vitro, post-OGD neuron released more sFasL. Both post-OGD NCM and exogenous sFasL could trigger M1-microglial polarization. However, this M1 phenotype shift was partially blocked by utilization of FasL neutralizing antibody or gld NCM. Consistently, JAK2/STAT3 and NF-κB signal pathways were both activated in microglia after exogenous sFasL treatment. Compared with wild-type mice, M1-conditioned medium prepared from gld mice protected neuron against OGD injury.

Ischemic neurons release sFasL, which contributes to M1-microglial polarization. The underlying mechanisms may involve the activation of JAK2/STAT3 and NF-κB signaling pathways.

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