Introduction: The precise mechanisms of the inflammatory responses after cerebral ischemia in vivo are difficult to elucidate because of the complex nature of multiple series of interactions between cells and molecules. This study explored temporal patterns of secretion of 30 cytokines and chemokines from Sprague Dawley rat astrocytes in primary culture in order to elucidate signaling pathways that are triggered by astrocytes during anoxia.
Methods: Primary cultures of rat brain astrocytes were incubated for periods of 2-24 hr in the absence of oxygen (anoxia) or under normal partial pressure of oxygen (controls). Simultaneous detection of 29 cytokines and chemokines in the samples was performed using a rat cytokine array panel, while the temporal pattern of angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1) secretion was determined separately using ELISA. Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney test was used to compare normoxic and anoxic samples and the Hodge-Lehman estimator with exact 95% confidence intervals was computed to assess the size of differences in cytokine secretion. The obtained data were imported into the Core Analysis tool of Ingenuity Pathways Analysis software in order to relate changes in secretion of cytokines and chemokines from astrocytes during anoxia to potential molecular signal networks.
Results: With the exception of Ang-1, concentrations of all cytokines/chemokines in samples collected after anoxia exposure were either the same, or higher, than in control groups. No clear pattern of changes could be established for groups of cytokines with similar effects (i.e., pro- or anti-inflammatory cytokines). The pattern of changes in cytokine secretion during anoxia was associated with the HIF-1α-mediated response, as well as cytokines IL-1β and cathepsin S pathways, which are related to initiation of inflammation and antigen presentation, respectively, and to ciliary neurotrophic factor.
Conclusions: These in vitro findings suggest that astrocytes may play a role in triggering inflammation during anoxia/ischemia of the brain.
Keywords: astrocytes; cytokines; hypoxia/ischemia.
© 2018 The Authors. Brain and Behavior published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.