Suppressor of cytokine Signaling-2 (SOCS2) regulates the microglial response and improves functional outcome after traumatic brain injury in mice
Basrai, HS and Christie, KJ and Turbic, A and Bye, N and Turnley, AM, Suppressor of cytokine Signaling-2 (SOCS2) regulates the microglial response and improves functional outcome after traumatic brain injury in mice, PloS One, 11, (14) Article e0153418. ISSN 1932-6203 (2016) [Refereed Article]
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is frequently characterized by neuronal, axonal and myelin loss, reactive gliosis and neuroinflammation, often associated with functional deficits. Endogenous repair mechanisms include production of new neurons from precursor cells, but usually the new neurons fail to integrate and survive more than a few weeks. This is in part mediated by the toxic and inflammatory environment present in the injured brain which activates precursor cells to proliferate and differentiate but limits survival of the newborn progeny. Therefore, an understanding of mechanisms that regulate production and survival of newborn neurons and the neuroinflammatory response after brain injury may lead to therapeutic options to improve outcomes. Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling 2 (SOCS2) promotes hippocampal neurogenesis and survival of newborn neurons in the adult brain and regulates anti-inflammatory responses in the periphery, suggesting it may be a useful candidate to improve outcomes of TBI. In this study the functional and cellular responses of SOCS2 over-expressing transgenic (SOCS2Tg) mice were compared to wildtype littermates following mild or moderately severe TBI. Unlike wildtype controls, SOCS2Tg mice showed functional improvement on a ladder test, with a smaller lesion volume at 7d post injury and increased numbers of proliferative CD11b+ microglia/macrophages at 35d post-injury in the mild injury paradigm. At 7d post-moderately severe injury there was an increase in the area covered by cells expressing an anti-inflammatory M2 phenotype marker (CD206+) but no difference in cells with a pro-inflammatory M1 phenotype marker (CD16/32+). No effect of SOCS2 overexpression was observed in production or survival of newborn neurons, even in the presence of the neuroprotective agent erythropoietin (EPO). Therefore, SOCS2 may improve outcome of TBI in mice by regulating aspects of the neuroinflammatory response, promoting a more anti-inflammatory environment, although this was not sufficient to enhance survival of newborn cortical neurons.