Differential reactivity of brain microvascular endothelial cells to TNF reflects the genetic susceptibility to cerebral malaria.

J.N. Lou*, Y. Gasche, L. Zheng, B. Critico, C. Monso-Hinard, P. Juillard, P. Morel, W.A. Buurman, G.E. Grau

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology and Surgical Intensive Care, University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland. [email protected]

Upon infection with Plasmodium berghei ANKA (PbA), various inbred strains of mice exhibit different susceptibility to the development of cerebral malaria (CM). Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF) and interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) have been shown to be crucial mediators in the pathogenesis of this neurovascular complication. Brain microvascular endothelial cells (MVEC) represent an important target of both cytokines. In the present study, we show that brain MVEC purified from CM-susceptible (CM-S) CBA/J mice and CM-resistant (CM-R) BALB/c mice exhibit a different sensitivity to TNF. CBA/J brain MVEC displayed a higher capacity to produce IL-6 and to up-regulate intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) in response to TNF than BALB/c brain MVEC. In contrast, no difference was found in the induction of E-selectin after TNF challenge. CM-S brain MVEC were also significantly more sensitive to TNF-induced lysis. This differential reactivity to TNF was further substantiated by comparing TNF receptor expression on CM-S and CM-R brain MVEC. Although the constitutive expression of TNF receptors was comparable on cells from the two origins, TNF induced an up-regulation of both p55 and p75 TNF receptors in CM-S, but not in CM-R brain MVEC. A similar regulation was found at the level of TNF receptor mRNA, but not for receptor shedding. Although a protein kinase C inhibitor blocked the response to TNF in both the brain MVEC, an inhibitor of protein kinase A selectively abolished the response to TNF in CM-R, but not CM-S brain MVEC, suggesting a differential protein kinase involvement in TNF-induced activation of CM-S and CM-R brain MVEC. These results indicate that brain MVEC purified from CM-S and CM-R mice exhibit distinctive sensitivity to TNF This difference may be partly due to a differential regulation of TNF receptors and via distinct protein kinase pathways.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3989-4000
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Immunology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998


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