Metallothionein I+II (MT-I+II) are acute-phase proteins which are upregulated during pathological conditions in the brain. To elucidate the neuropathological importance of MT-I+II, we have examined MT-I+II-deficient mice following ip injection with 6-aminonicotinamide (6-AN). 6-AN is antimetabolic and toxic for bone marrow cells and grey matter astrocytes. In MT+/+ mice, injection with 6-AN resulted in breakdown of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and absence of GFAP-positive astrocytes in specific grey matter areas of the brain stem. Reactive astrocytosis encircled the damaged grey matter areas, which were heavily infiltrated by microglia/macrophages. The recruitment of hematogenous macrophages was accompanied by leakage of the BBB. The immunoreactivity (ir) of granulocyte-macrophage-colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and the receptor for GM-CSF (GM-CSFrec) was significantly upregulated in astrocytes and microglia/macrophages, respectively. MT-I+IIir was also clearly increased in astrocytes surrounding the damaged areas, while that of the CNS-specific MT isoform, MT-III, was mildly increased in both astrocytes and microglia/macrophages. In MT-/- mice injected with 6-AN, the BBB remained almost intact. The damage to specific grey matter areas was similar to that observed in MT+/+ mice, but reactive astrocytosis, microglia/macrophages infiltration, and GM-CSFir and GMCSFrecir were clearly reduced in MT-/- mice. In contrast, MT-IIIir was dramatically increased in MT-/mice. Total zinc decreased and histochemically detectable zinc increased in the brain stem after 6-AN similarly in MT+/+ and MT-/- mice. Bone marrow myeloid monocytes and macrophages were increased as a reaction to 6-AN only in MT+/+ mice. The results demonstrate that the capability of MT-/- mice to mount a normal inflammatory response in the brain is severely attenuated, at least in part because of 6-AN-induced bone marrow affectation, involving MT- I+II for the first time as major factors during CNS tissue damage.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 1999|
- GM- CSFrec
- Inflammatory response
- Metallothionein-I, -II, and -III