Elevated microRNA-129-5p level ameliorates neuroinflammation and blood-spinal cord barrier damage after ischemia-reperfusion by inhibiting HMGB1 and the TLR3-cytokine pathway
BACKGROUND Paraplegia continues to complicate thoracoabdominal aortic interventions. The elusive mechanism of spinal cord ischemia-reperfusion injury has delayed the development of pharmacological adjuncts. Microglia, the resident macrophages of the central nervous system, can have pathological responses after a variety of insults. This can occur through toll-like receptor 4 (TLR-4) in stroke models. We hypothesize that spinal cord ischemia-reperfusion injury after aortic occlusion results from TLR-4-mediated microglial activation in mice. METHODS AND RESULTS TLR-4 mutant and wild-type mice underwent aortic occlusion for 5 minutes, followed by 60 hours of reperfusion when spinal cords were removed for analysis. Spinal cord cytokine production and microglial activation were assessed at 6 and 36 hours after surgery. Isolated microglia from mutant and wild-type mice were subjected to oxygen and glucose deprivation for 24 hours, after which the expression of TLR-4 and proinflammatory cytokines was analyzed. Mice without functional TLR-4 demonstrated decreased microglial activation and cytokine production and had preserved functional outcomes and neuronal viability after thoracic aortic occlusion. After oxygen and glucose deprivation, wild-type microglia had increased TLR-4 expression and production of proinflammatory cytokines. CONCLUSIONS The absence of functional TLR-4 attenuated neuronal injury and microglial activation after thoracic aortic occlusion in mice. Furthermore, microglial upregulation of TLR-4 occurred after oxygen and glucose deprivation, and the absence of functional TLR-4 significantly attenuated the production of proinflammatory cytokines. In conclusion, TLR-4-mediated microglia activation in the spinal cord after aortic occlusion is critical in the mechanism of paraplegia after aortic cross-clamping and may provide targets for pharmacological intervention.