Cellular Model of Endotoxin Tolerance in Astrocytes: Role of Interleukin 10 and Oxylipins

Cells. 2019 Dec 1;8(12):1553. doi: 10.3390/cells8121553.


A phenomenon of endotoxin tolerance where prior exposure of cells to minute amounts of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) causes them to become refractory to a subsequent high-amount endotoxin challenge is well described for innate immune cells such as monocytes/macrophages, but it is still obscure for brain cells. We exposed primary rat cortical astrocytes to a long-term low-grade concentration of LPS, followed by stimulation with a middle-grade concentration of LPS. Inflammatory markers, i.e., pro-inflammatory cytokine TNFα, inducible enzymes COX-2 and iNOS, anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin 10 (IL-10) detected at the mRNA and protein levels reveal similarities between astrocytes and macrophages in the model, i.e., tolerance in pro-inflammatory markers and priming in IL-10. Long-term or short-term treatment with IL-10 does not change cell sensitivity for LPS, which makes doubtful its involvement in the mechanisms of cell tolerance development. Significant changes occur in the oxylipin profiles measured by UPLC-MS/MS analysis. The priming occurs in the following compounds: 11-HETE, PGD2, PGE2, cyclopentenone prostaglandins, and TXB2. Tolerance is observed for 12-HHT, PGF, and 6-keto-PGF. As far as we know, this is the first report on changes in oxylipin profiles in the endotoxin tolerance model. The data can greatly improve the understanding of oxylipins' role in inflammatory and resolution processes in the brain and mechanisms of astrocyte involvement in neuroinflammation.

Keywords: astrocytes; eicosanoids; endotoxin tolerance; inflammation; interleukin-10; oxylipins.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Astrocytes / immunology*
  • Astrocytes / metabolism*
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Endotoxins / immunology*
  • Immune Tolerance*
  • Interleukin-10 / metabolism*
  • Oxylipins / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry


  • Cytokines
  • Endotoxins
  • Oxylipins
  • Interleukin-10