Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) is a risk factor for the development of neurodegenerative diseases. Neuroinflammation associated with MetS may contribute significantly to neurodegeneration. Pleiotrophin (PTN) is a neurotrophic factor that modulates neuroinflammation and is a key player in regulating energy metabolism and thermogenesis, suggesting that PTN could be important in the connection between MetS and neuroinflammation. We have now used a high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity model in Ptn-/- mice. HFD and Ptn deletion caused alterations in circulating hormones including GIP, leptin and resistin. HFD produced in Ptn+/+ mice a neuroinflammatory state as observed in cerebral quantifications of proinflammatory markers, including Il1β, Tnfα and Ccl2. The upregulation of neuroinflammatory markers was prevented in Ptn-/- mice. Changes induced by HFD in genes related to mitochondrial biogenesis and dynamics were less pronounced in the brain of Ptn-/- mice and were accompanied by significant increases in the protein expression of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) complexes I and IV. HFD-induced changes in genes related to the elimination of protein aggregates were also less pronounced in the brain of Ptn-/- mice. This study provides substantial evidence that Ptn deletion protects against HFD-induced neuroinflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction, and aberrant protein aggregation, prominent features in neurodegenerative diseases.
Keywords: Metabolic syndrome; Neuroinflammation; Pleiotrophin; Ptprz1.
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