The longevity-associated variant of BPIFB4 improves a CXCR4-mediated striatum-microglia crosstalk preventing disease progression in a mouse model of Huntington's disease

Cell Death Dis. 2020 Jul 18;11(7):546. doi: 10.1038/s41419-020-02754-w.


The longevity-associated variant (LAV) of the bactericidal/permeability-increasing fold-containing family B member 4 (BPIFB4) has been found significantly enriched in long-living individuals. Neuroinflammation is a key player in Huntington's disease (HD), a neurodegenerative disorder caused by neural death due to expanded CAG repeats encoding a long polyglutamine tract in the huntingtin protein (Htt). Herein, we showed that striatal-derived cell lines with expanded Htt (STHdh Q111/111) expressed and secreted lower levels of BPIFB4, when compared with Htt expressing cells (STHdh Q7/7), which correlated with a defective stress response to proteasome inhibition. Overexpression of LAV-BPIFB4 in STHdh Q111/111 cells was able to rescue both the BPIFB4 secretory profile and the proliferative/survival response. According to a well-established immunomodulatory role of LAV-BPIFB4, conditioned media from LAV-BPIFB4-overexpressing STHdh Q111/111 cells were able to educate Immortalized Human Microglia-SV40 microglial cells. While STHdh Q111/111 dying cells were ineffective to induce a CD163 + IL-10high pro-resolving microglia compared to normal STHdh Q7/7, LAV-BPIFB4 transduction promptly restored the central immune control through a mechanism involving the stromal cell-derived factor-1. In line with the in vitro results, adeno-associated viral-mediated administration of LAV-BPIFB4 exerted a CXCR4-dependent neuroprotective action in vivo in the R6/2 HD mouse model by preventing important hallmarks of the disease including motor dysfunction, body weight loss, and mutant huntingtin protein aggregation. In this view, LAV-BPIFB4, due to its pleiotropic ability in both immune compartment and cellular homeostasis, may represent a candidate for developing new treatment for HD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Benzylamines / pharmacology
  • Cell Death / drug effects
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Line, Transformed
  • Cell Polarity / drug effects
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Corpus Striatum / pathology*
  • Cyclams / pharmacology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Disease Progression*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Gene Ontology
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Huntington Disease / genetics
  • Huntington Disease / pathology*
  • Huntington Disease / physiopathology
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / genetics*
  • Longevity* / genetics
  • Microglia / drug effects
  • Microglia / pathology*
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Phosphoproteins / genetics*
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex / metabolism
  • Receptors, CXCR4 / metabolism*


  • Benzylamines
  • Bpifb4 protein, mouse
  • Cyclams
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Receptors, CXCR4
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex
  • plerixafor