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Sepsis-induced selective parvalbumin interneuron phenotype loss and cognitive impairments may be mediated by NADPH oxidase 2 activation in mice

  • Ji, Mu-Huo1
  • Qiu, Li-Li1
  • Tang, Hui1
  • Ju, Ling-Sha1
  • Sun, Xiao-Ru1
  • Zhang, Hui1
  • Jia, Min1
  • Zuo, Zhi-Yi2
  • Shen, Jin-Chun1
  • Yang, Jian-Jun1
  • 1 Nanjing University, Department of Anesthesiology, Jinling Hospital, School of Medicine, 305 East Zhongshan Road, Nanjing, 210002, China , Nanjing (China)
  • 2 University of Virginia Health System, Department of Anesthesiology, Charlottesville, VA, USA , Charlottesville (United States)
Published Article
Journal of Neuroinflammation
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Sep 29, 2015
DOI: 10.1186/s12974-015-0401-x
Springer Nature


BackgroundSepsis-associated encephalopathy (SAE) is a diffuse brain dysfunction caused by many pathological events, including neuroinflammation and oxidative stress damage. Increasing evidence suggests that parvalbumin (PV) interneurons play a key role in the cognitive process, whereas the dysfunction of these interneurons has been implicated in a number of major psychiatric disorders. Here, we aimed to investigate whether enhanced inflammation and oxidative stress-mediated PV interneuron phenotype loss plays a role in sepsis-induced cognitive impairments.MethodsMale C57BL/6 mice were subjected to cecal ligation and puncture or sham operation. For the interventional study, the animals were chronically treated with a nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase inhibitor, apocynin, at 5 mg/kg. The mice were euthanized at the indicated time points, and the brain tissues were harvested for determination of the PV, membrane subunit of NADPH oxidase gp91phox, and markers of oxidative stress (4-hydroxynonenal and malondialdehyde) and inflammation (tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and IL-10). A separate cohort of animals was used to evaluate the behavioral alterations by the open field and fear conditioning tests. Primary hippocampal neuronal cultures were used to investigate the mechanisms underlying the dysfunction of PV interneurons.ResultsSepsis resulted in cognitive impairments, which was accompanied by selective phenotype loss of PV interneurons and increased gp91phox, 4-hydroxynonenal, malondialdehyde, IL-1β, and IL-6 expressions. Notably, these abnormalities could be rescued by apocynin treatment.ConclusionSelective phenotype loss of PV interneurons, as a result of NADPH oxidase 2 (Nox2) activation, might partly contribute to cognitive impairments in a mouse model of SAE.

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