Glutathione S-transferases promote proinflammatory astrocyte-microglia communication during brain inflammation

Academic Article


  • Astrocytes and microglia play critical roles in brain inflammation. Here, we report that glutathione S-transferases (GSTs), particularly GSTM1, promote proinflammatory signaling in astrocytes and contribute to astrocyte-mediated microglia activation during brain inflammation. In vivo, astrocyte-specific knockdown of GSTM1 in the prefrontal cortex attenuated microglia activation in brain inflammation induced by systemic injection of lipopolysaccharides (LPS). Knocking down GSTM1 in astrocytes also attenuated LPS-induced production of the proinflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) by microglia when the two cell types were cocultured. In astrocytes, GSTM1 was required for the activation of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) and the production of proinflammatory mediators, such as granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and C-C motif chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2), both of which enhance microglia activation. Our study suggests that GSTs play a proinflammatory role in priming astrocytes and enhancing microglia activation in a microglia-astrocyte positive feedback loop during brain inflammation.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Science Signaling  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Kano SI; Choi EY; Dohi E; Agarwal S; Chang DJ; Wilson AM; Lo BD; Rose IVL; Gonzalez S; Imai T
  • Volume

  • 12
  • Issue

  • 569