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Pathological Involvement of Astrocyte-Derived Lipocalin-2 in the Demyelinating Optic Neuritis

Chun, BY;Kim, JH;Nam, Y;Huh, MI;Han, S;Suk, K;

The current study was done to determine the role of lipocalin-2 (LCN2) in the pathogenesis of demyelinating optic neuritis using an experimental autoimmune optic neuritis (EAON) model.,The EAON was induced by subcutaneous immunization with an emulsified mixture of myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG35-55) peptide in mice. The LCN2 expression was examined in the optic nerve after MOG peptide injection. Degree of demyelination, inflammatory infiltration, glial activation, and expression profile of inflammatory mediators in the optic nerve were compared between LCN2 knockout (KO) animals and wild-type littermates by histological analysis and real-time PCR following EAON induction. Plasma levels of LCN2 in patients with optic neuritis were measured by ELISA.,The expression of LCN2 was notably increased in the optic nerve after EAON induction. Expression of LCN2 was colocalized with reactive astrocytes. A significant reduction of demyelination, inflammatory infiltration, and gliosis was demonstrated in the optic nerve of LCN2 KO mice. The LCN2 KO mice also showed markedly reduced gene expression associated with the M1-polarized glia phenotype and toll-like receptor signaling in the optic nerve. The LCN2 levels in plasma were significantly higher in optic neuritis patients (71.6 10.6 ng/mL) compared to healthy controls (37.4 9.1 ng/mL, P = 0.0284).,In this study, we demonstrated a significant induction of LCN2 expression in astrocytes of the optic nerve following EAON induction. Our results imply that astrocyte-derived LCN2 may have a pivotal role in the development of demyelinating optic neuritis, and LCN2 can be a therapeutic target to alleviate immune and inflammatory damage in the optic nerve.