In vivo neutralization of the protagonist role of macrophages during the chronic inflammatory stage of Huntington's disease

Sci Rep. 2018 Jul 30;8(1):11447. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-29792-x.


Neurodegenerative diseases, characterised by the progressive and selective neuronal death in the central nervous system, are frequently accompanied by an activated immune system. In Huntington's disease (HD), clinical and animal studies show evidence of immune activity, along with hyper-reactive monocyte/macrophage responses, while application of immunosuppressive regimens have imparted beneficial effects to HD mice. These findings suggest a contributory role of the immune system in HD pathology, with immune-based interventions offering a potential therapeutic strategy. Herein, we show that peripheral and CNS immune system activity increased with disease progression in HD mouse models and defined the phenotype of the immune response. Additionally, the depletion of monocytes and macrophages in vivo, via clodronate liposome treatment, revealed a major contributory role of these innate immune cells to the chronic inflammatory milieu observed during the course of the disease. This suggests that peripheral immunomodulatory strategies targeting monocytes and macrophages could be relevant for HD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / pathology
  • Chronic Disease
  • Clodronic Acid / pharmacology
  • Cytokines / blood
  • Dendritic Cells / pathology
  • Female
  • Huntington Disease / blood
  • Huntington Disease / immunology
  • Huntington Disease / pathology*
  • Inflammation / blood
  • Inflammation / pathology*
  • Liposomes
  • Macrophages / pathology*
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Spleen / pathology


  • Cytokines
  • Liposomes
  • Clodronic Acid