© 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic demyelinating disease of the central nervous system. Interleukin (IL)−6 is a pleiotropic cytokine with a potential role in MS. Here we used transgenic mice with astrocyte-targeted production of IL-6 (GFAP-IL6Tg) to study the effect of IL-6 in the cuprizone-induced demyelination paradigm, which is an experimental model of de- and re-myelination, both hallmarks of MS. Our results demonstrated that cuprizone-treated GFAP-IL6Tg mice showed a significant reduction in astroglial and especially microglial activation/accumulation in the corpus callosum in comparison with the corresponding cuprizone-treated wild type (WT). Production of a key microglial attracting chemokine CXCL10, as well as CXCL1 and CCL4 was lower in cuprizone-treated GFAP-IL6Tg mice compared with cuprizone-treated WT. Reduced microglial cell accumulation was associated with inefficient removal of degraded myelin and axonal protection in cuprizone-treated GFAP-IL6Tg mice, compared with WT mice at the peak of demyelination. In addition, transgenic production of IL-6 did not alter initial oligodendrocyte (OL) apoptosis and oligodendrocyte precursor cell recruitment to the lesion site, but it impaired early OL differentiation, possibly due to impaired removal of degraded myelin. Indeed, a microglial receptor involved in myelin phagocytosis, TREM2, as well as the phagolysosomal protein CD68 were lower in cuprizone-treated GFAP-IL6Tg compared with WT mice. Our results show for the first time that astrocyte-targeted production of IL-6 may play a role in modulating experimental demyelination induced by cuprizone. Further understanding of the IL-6-mediated molecular mechanisms involved in the regulation of demyelination is needed, and may have implications for the development of future therapeutic strategies for the treatment of MS. GLIA 2016;64:2104–2119.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Dec 2016|
- multiple sclerosis