Browsing UMB Open Access Articles by Subject "FABP7"
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RGC-32 Regulates Generation of Reactive Astrocytes in Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis.Astrocytes are increasingly recognized as critical contributors to multiple sclerosis pathogenesis. We have previously shown that lack of Response Gene to Complement 32 (RGC-32) alters astrocyte morphology in the spinal cord at the peak of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), suggesting a role for RGC-32 in astrocyte differentiation. In this study, we analyzed the expression and distribution of astrocytes and astrocyte progenitors by immunohistochemistry in spinal cords of wild-type (WT) and RGC-32-knockout (KO) mice with EAE and of normal adult mice. Our analysis showed that during acute EAE, WT astrocytes had a reactive morphology and increased GFAP expression, whereas RGC-32 KO astrocytes had a morphology similar to that of radial glia and an increased expression of progenitor markers such as vimentin and fatty acid binding protein 7 (FABP7). In control mice, GFAP expression and astrocyte density were also significantly higher in the WT group, whereas the number of vimentin and FABP7-positive radial glia was significantly higher in the RGC-32 KO group. In vitro studies on cultured neonatal astrocytes from WT and RGC-32 KO mice showed that RGC-32 regulates a complex array of molecular networks pertaining to signal transduction, growth factor expression and secretion, and extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling. Among the most differentially expressed factors were insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1), insulin-like growth factor binding proteins (IGFBPs), and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF); their expression was downregulated in RGC-32-depleted astrocytes. The nuclear translocation of STAT3, a transcription factor critical for astrogliogenesis and driving glial scar formation, was also impaired after RGC-32 silencing. Taken together, these data suggest that RGC-32 is an important regulator of astrocyte differentiation during EAE and that in the absence of RGC-32, astrocytes are unable to fully mature and become reactive astrocytes.