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Regulation of Toll-like receptor 1 and -2 in neonatal mice brains after hypoxia-ischemia

Author(s): Stridh Linnea | Smith Peter | Naylor Andrew | Wang Xiaoyang | Mallard Carina

Journal: Journal of Neuroinflammation
ISSN 1742-2094

Volume: 8;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 45;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Abstract Background Hypoxic-ischemic (HI) brain injury remains a major problem in newborns, resulting in increased risk of neurological disorders. Neonatal HI triggers a broad inflammatory reaction in the brain, including activation of the innate immune system. Toll-like receptors (TLRs), which are key components of the innate immune system, are believed to play a role in adult cerebral ischemic injury. The expression of TLRs in the neonatal brain and their regulation after HI is unknown. Methods Wild type C57BL/6, TLR 1 knockout (KO) and TLR 2 KO mice were subjected to HI at postnatal day 9 and sacrificed 30 min, 6 h, 24 h or 5 days after HI. TLR mRNA expression was determined by RT-qPCR and protein and cell type localisation by immunohistochemistry (IHC). To evaluate brain injury, infarct volume was measured in the injured hemisphere. Results mRNA expression was detected for all investigated TLRs (TLR1-9), both in normal and HI exposed brains. After HI, TLR-1 was down-regulated at 30 min and up-regulated at 6 h and 24 h. TLR-2 was up-regulated at 6 h and 24 h, and TLR-7 at 24 h. Both TLR-5 and TLR-8 were down-regulated at 24 h and 30 min respectively. IHC showed an increase of TLR-1 in neurons in the ipsilateral hemisphere after HI. TLR-2 was constitutively expressed in astrocytes and in a population of neurons in the paraventricular nucleus in the hypothalamus. No changes in expression were detected following HI. Following HI, TLR-2 KO mice, but not TLR-1 KO, showed a decreased infarct volume compared to wild type (p = 0.0051). Conclusions This study demonstrates that TLRs are regulated after HI in the neonatal brain. TLR-1 protein was up-regulated in injured areas of the brain but TLR-1 KO animals were not protected from HI. In contrast, TLR-2 was constitutively expressed in the brain and TLR-2 deficiency reduced HI injury. These data suggest that TLR-2, but not TLR-1, plays a role in neonatal HI brain injury.
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