alexa Interleukin-1beta induces a reactive astroglial phenotype via deactivation of the Rho GTPase-Rock axis.
Molecular Biology

Molecular Biology

Journal of Cell Science & Therapy

Author(s): John GR, Chen L, Rivieccio MA, MelendezVasquez CV, Hartley A,

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Abstract The cytokine interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) is critical to the formation of an astrocytic scar after CNS injury, but the mechanisms by which it induces a reactive phenotype remain unresolved. Here, we show that IL-1beta regulates the phenotype of astrocytes via deactivation of the Rho GTPase-Rho kinase (ROCK) pathway, which governs cellular morphology and migration via effects on F-actin and its interactions with focal adhesions, nonmuscle myosin, and microvillar adapter proteins of the ezrin-radixin-moesin (ERM) family. We found that IL-1beta induced cortical reorganization of F-actin and dephosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase, myosin light chain 2, and myosin phosphatase targeting subunit 1 in primary human astrocytes, and that all of these effects were mimicked by Rho-ROCK pathway blockade. We also found that IL-1beta conversely potentiated ERM phosphorylation, and that this effect was mediated via a Rho-ROCK-independent mechanism. Next, we used a rhotekin pulldown assay to confirm directly that IL-1beta deactivates Rho, and further demonstrated that a constitutively active Rho construct rescued astrocytes from developing an IL-1beta-induced reactive phenotype. These data implicate cytokine regulation of the Rho-ROCK pathway in the generation of a reactive astrogliosis, and we suggest that interventions targeted at this level may facilitate manipulation of the glial scar in inflammatory disorders of the human CNS. This article was published in J Neurosci and referenced in Journal of Cell Science & Therapy

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