Efficient subtractive cloning of genes activated by lipopolysaccharide and interferon γ in primary-cultured cortical cells of newborn mice

PLoS One. 2013 Nov 11;8(11):e79236. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079236. eCollection 2013.


Innate immune responses play a central role in neuroprotection and neurotoxicity during inflammatory processes that are triggered by pathogen-associated molecular pattern-exhibiting agents such as bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and that are modulated by inflammatory cytokines such as interferon γ (IFNγ). Recent findings describing the unexpected complexity of mammalian genomes and transcriptomes have stimulated further identification of novel transcripts involved in specific physiological and pathological processes, such as the neural innate immune response that alters the expression of many genes. We developed a system for efficient subtractive cloning that employs both sense and antisense cRNA drivers, and coupled it with in-house cDNA microarray analysis. This system enabled effective direct cloning of differentially expressed transcripts, from a small amount (0.5 µg) of total RNA. We applied this system to isolation of genes activated by LPS and IFNγ in primary-cultured cortical cells that were derived from newborn mice, to investigate the mechanisms involved in neuroprotection and neurotoxicity in maternal/perinatal infections that cause various brain injuries including periventricular leukomalacia. A number of genes involved in the immune and inflammatory response were identified, showing that neonatal neuronal/glial cells are highly responsive to LPS and IFNγ. Subsequent RNA blot analysis revealed that the identified genes were activated by LPS and IFNγ in a cooperative or distinctive manner, thereby supporting the notion that these bacterial and cellular inflammatory mediators can affect the brain through direct but complicated pathways. We also identified several novel clones of apparently non-coding RNAs that potentially harbor various regulatory functions. Characterization of the presently identified genes will give insights into mechanisms and interventions not only for perinatal infection-induced brain damage, but also for many other innate immunity-related brain disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology*
  • Brain Diseases / genetics
  • Brain Diseases / immunology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cerebral Cortex*
  • Cloning, Molecular / methods*
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics*
  • Immunity, Innate / genetics
  • Interferon-gamma / pharmacology*
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Mice


  • Antiviral Agents
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Interferon-gamma

Grants and funding

This work was supported in part by Grants-in-Aid from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science, Sports, and Technology of Japan. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. No additional external funding was received for this study.