c-Fos immunoreactivity induced by intraperitoneal LPS administration is reduced in the brain of mice lacking the microsomal prostaglandin E synthase-1 (mPGES-1)

Brain Behav Immun. 2007 Nov;21(8):1109-21. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2007.05.003. Epub 2007 Jul 2.


The aim of the present study was to investigate the impact of the deletion of the microsomal prostaglandin E synthase-1 (mPGES-1) gene on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced neuronal activation in central nervous structures. The mPGES-1 catalyses the conversion of COX-derived PGH(2) to PGE(2) and has been described as a regulated enzyme whose expression is stimulated by proinflammatory agents. Using the immediate-early gene c-fos as a marker of neuronal activation, we determined whether deletion of the mPGES-1 gene altered the neuronal activation induced by LPS in structures classically recognized as immunosensitive regions. No significant difference in the c-Fos immunostaining was observed in the brain of saline-treated mPGES-1+/+, mPGES-1+/- and mPGES-1-/- mice. However, we observed that LPS-induced neuronal activation was reduced in most of the centres known as immunosensitive nuclei in mPGES-1-/- mice compared with heterozygous and wild-type mice. The decrease in the number of c-Fos positive nuclei occurred particularly in the caudal ventrolateral medulla, the medial, intermediate and central parts of the nucleus tractus solitarius, area postrema, parabrachial nucleus, locus coeruleus, paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus, ventromedial preoptic area, central amygdala, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis and to a lesser extent in the ventrolateral part of the nucleus tractus solitarius and rostral ventrolateral medulla. These results suggest that the mPGES-1 enzyme is strongly needed to provide sufficient PGE(2) production required to stimulate immunosensitive brain regions and they are discussed with regard to the recent works reporting impaired sickness behavior in mPGES-1-/- mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / cytology
  • Brain / enzymology*
  • Brain / immunology
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 / metabolism*
  • Dinoprostone / metabolism
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Intramolecular Oxidoreductases / genetics
  • Intramolecular Oxidoreductases / metabolism*
  • Lipopolysaccharides / immunology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred DBA
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Microsomes / enzymology
  • Neuroimmunomodulation / physiology*
  • Neurons / enzymology*
  • Neurons / immunology
  • Prostaglandin-E Synthases
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos / metabolism


  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Intramolecular Oxidoreductases
  • Prostaglandin-E Synthases
  • Ptges protein, mouse
  • Dinoprostone