During injury to the central nervous system (CNS), astrocytes and microglia proliferate and migrate around the lesion sites. Recently, it has been reported that one of the water channels, aquaporin-4 (AQP4) is seemed to have a role in astroglial migration and glial scar formation caused by brain injury, although its molecular mechanism is largely unknown. In the present study, we examined the expression profiles in wild-type (WT) and AQP4-deficient (AQP4/KO) mice after a stab wound to the cerebral cortex. Three days after the stab wound, AQP4 expression was observed in activated microglia around the lesion site as well as in astrocytes. A microarray analysis revealed that 444 genes around the lesion site were upregulated 3. days after the wounding in WT mice. Surprisingly, most of these up-regulations were significantly attenuated in AQP4/KO mice. Real-time RT-PCR and immunofluorescence showed that osteopontin (OPN) expression around the lesion site was much lower in AQP4/KO mice than in WT mice. Moreover, the up-regulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines was significantly attenuated in AQP4/KO mice. Taken together, these results suggest that AQP4 plays an important role in immunological function in concert with OPN under pathological conditions in the CNS.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Cell Biology