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Prolonged lipopolysaccharide exposure induces transient immunosuppression in BV2 microglia

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Journal of Cellular Physiology

Published online on


--- - |2- In vitro endotoxin treatment on BV2 microglia cells has similar results, that is, cells become hyporesponsive to stimuli, even after repeated exposure to lipopolysaccharide for months. Immunosuppressed cells reversing back to normal immunoresponsive proves plasticity of these central nervous system macrophages. Nature has enabled them to have such plastic nature to be adapted themselves first and continue the immunosurveillance to protect neuronal cells that are comparatively fragile and vulnerable to inflammatory stress. And endogenously high inhibitor of apoptotic proteins expression enables them to cope up with continual exposure to stimuli without compromising the viability. Continuous pre‐exposure of immune cells to low level of inflammatory stimuli makes them hyporesponsive to subsequent exposure. This pathophysiological adaptation; known as endotoxin tolerance is a general paradigm behind several disease pathogenesis. Current study deals with this immunosuppression with respect to BV2 microglia. We attempted to investigate their immune response under prolonged endotoxin exposure and monitor the same upon withdrawal of the stimuli. BV2 microglia cells were maintained under continual exposure of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) for weeks with regular passage after 72 hr (prolonged LPS exposed cells [PLECs]). PLECs were found to be immunosuppressed with diminished expression of proinflammatory cytokines (IL6, IL1β, TNF‐α, and iNOS) and production of nitric oxide, as compared to once LPS exposed cells. Upon remaintenance of cells in normal media without LPS exposure (LPS withdrawal cells [LWCs]), the induced immunosuppression reversed and cells started responding to inflammatory stimuli; revealed by significant expression of proinflammatory cytokines. LWCs showed functional similarities to never LPS exposed cells (NLECs) in phagocytosis activity and their response to anti‐inflammatory agents like dexamethasone. Despite their immunoresponsiveness, PLECs were inflamed and showed higher autophagy rate than NLECs. Additionally, we investigated the role of inhibitor of apoptotic proteins (IAPs) in PLECs to understand whether IAPs aids in the survival of microglial cells under stress conditions. Our results revealed that cIAP1 and cIAP2 are induced in PLECs which might play a role in retaining the viability. Furthermore, antagonism of IAPs has significantly induced cell death in PLECs suggesting the role of IAPs in microglial survival under stress condition. Conclusively, our data suggest that continuous exposure of BV2 microglia cells to LPS results in transient immunosuppression and indicates the involvement of IAPs in retaining their viability under inflammatory stress. - 'Journal of Cellular Physiology, Volume 234, Issue 2, Page 1889-1903, February 2019. '