Publications by authors named "Wenson D Rajan"

8 Publications

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Microglia Require CD4 T Cells to Complete the Fetal-to-Adult Transition.

Cell 2020 08 22;182(3):625-640.e24. Epub 2020 Jul 22.

VIB Center for Brain and Disease Research, VIB, Leuven 3000, Belgium; Department of Microbiology and Immunology, KU Leuven-University of Leuven, Leuven 3000, Belgium; Laboratory of Lymphocyte Signalling and Development, The Babraham Institute, Cambridge CB22 3AT, UK. Electronic address:

The brain is a site of relative immune privilege. Although CD4 T cells have been reported in the central nervous system, their presence in the healthy brain remains controversial, and their function remains largely unknown. We used a combination of imaging, single cell, and surgical approaches to identify a CD69 CD4 T cell population in both the mouse and human brain, distinct from circulating CD4 T cells. The brain-resident population was derived through in situ differentiation from activated circulatory cells and was shaped by self-antigen and the peripheral microbiome. Single-cell sequencing revealed that in the absence of murine CD4 T cells, resident microglia remained suspended between the fetal and adult states. This maturation defect resulted in excess immature neuronal synapses and behavioral abnormalities. These results illuminate a role for CD4 T cells in brain development and a potential interconnected dynamic between the evolution of the immunological and neurological systems. VIDEO ABSTRACT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2020.06.026DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7427333PMC
August 2020

Defining molecular identity and fates of CNS-border associated macrophages after ischemic stroke in rodents and humans.

Neurobiol Dis 2020 04 8;137:104722. Epub 2020 Jan 8.

Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology, Warsaw, Poland. Electronic address:

Central nervous system (CNS)-border associated macrophages (BAMs) maintain their steady-state population during adulthood and are not replaced by circulating monocytes under physiological conditions. Their roles in CNS integrity and functions under pathological conditions remain largely unknown. Until recently, BAMs and microglia could not be unequivocally distinguished due to expression of common macrophage markers. We investigated the transcriptional profiles of immunosorted BAMs from rat sham-operated and ischemic brains using RNA sequencing. We found that BAMs express the distinct transcriptional signature than microglia and infiltrating macrophages. The enrichment of functional groups associated with the cell cycle in CD163 cells isolated 3 days after the ischemic injury indicates the proliferative capacity of these cells. The increased number of CD163 cells 3 days post-ischemia was corroborated by flow cytometry and detecting the increased number of CD163 cells positive for a proliferation marker Ki67 at perivascular spaces. CD163 cells in the ischemic brains up-regulated many inflammatory genes and parenchymal CD163+ cells expressed iNOS, which indicates acquisition of a pro-inflammatory phenotype. In mice, BAMs typically express CD206 and we found a subset of these cells expressing CD169. Chimeric mice generated by transplanting bone marrow of donor Cx3cr1CCR2 mice to wild type hosts showed an increased number of CX3CR1CD169 perivascular macrophages 3 days post-ischemia. Furthermore, these cells accumulated in the brain parenchyma and we detected replacement of perivascular macrophages by peripheral monocytic cells in the sub-acute phase of stroke. In line with the animal results, post-mortem brain samples from human ischemic stroke cases showed time-dependent accumulation of CD163 cells in the ischemic parenchyma. Our findings indicate a unique transcriptional signature of BAMs, their local proliferation and migration of inflammatory BAMs to the brain parenchyma after stroke in animal models and humans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nbd.2019.104722DOI Listing
April 2020

Dissecting functional phenotypes of microglia and macrophages in the rat brain after transient cerebral ischemia.

Glia 2019 02 28;67(2):232-245. Epub 2018 Nov 28.

Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology, Neurobiology Center, The Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland.

Ischemic brain injury causes local inflammation, which involves activation of resident microglia, leukocyte, and monocyte infiltration. Involvement of peripheral immune cells in ischemia-induced damage and repair is debatable. Using flow cytometry, gene expression profiling, and immunocytochemistry, we show that microglia predominate in the ischemic brain and express inflammation mediators at Day 1 after transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo) in rats. At Day 3, both resident microglia and bone marrow (BM)-derived macrophages are detected in the ischemic hemispheres and display unique transcriptomic profiles. Functional groups enriched in BM-macrophages are indicative of the pro-regenerative, immunosuppressive phenotype. Transient depletion of peripheral macrophages with clodronate-filled liposomes reduced the number of Arg1+ Iba1+ expressing cells in the ischemic brain. The analysis of microglia and macrophage signature genes shows that each cell type maintains the expression of their identity genes, even if gene expression is modified in a response to environmental clues. At Day 7, infiltrating BM-macrophages exhibit the reduced expression of Arg1, the elevated expression of iNos and many inflammatory genes, as shown by RNA sequencing. This is consistent with their switch toward a pro-inflammatory phenotype. We propose that BM-macrophages recruited to the injured brain early after ischemia could contribute to functional recovery after stroke, but they switch toward a pro-inflammatory phenotype in the ischemic parenchyma. Our results point to the detrimental role of microglia in an ischemic brain and the primarily pro-regenerative role of infiltrating BM-macrophages.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/glia.23536DOI Listing
February 2019

Fellutamide B Synthetic Path Intermediates with in Vitro Neuroactive Function Shows Mood-Elevating Effect in Stress-Induced Zebrafish Model.

ACS Omega 2018 Sep 5;3(9):10534-10544. Epub 2018 Sep 5.

Chemical Biology and Natural Products Chemistry, CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Tarnaka, Uppal Road, Hyderabad 500007, India.

Fellutamide B is reported to have cytotoxic and proteasome inhibitory activity. Interestingly, fellutamide B and its simplified analogues have also been observed for the neurotrophic activity by stimulating the synthesis and secretion of neurotrophins. Owing to the interesting structural and potent neurotrophic role of fellutamide B (a lipopeptide aldehyde), we have assessed the synthetic path intermediates (compounds A-D) of fellutamide B for their neuroactive potential (in vitro and in vivo). We have observed few compounds (comp #A-D) to have potential neurite outgrowth activity in Neuro2a cells with no observable negative effect on the cell viability. In addition, most compounds (comp #A, C, and D) have shown neurogenic activity ex vivo in hippocampal neurosphere culture, with increased acetyl H3 and acetyl H4 induction ability (comp #C). Furthermore, the intermediate product comp #C has shown anxiolytic and antidepressant-like activity in novel tank test and social interaction test, in the chronic unpredictable stress model of zebrafish mood disorder, inducing BDNF gene expression in the telencephalon region of the fish brain. Our results thus demonstrate that the fellutamide B synthetic path intermediates have potential neurotrophic, neurogenic, and mood-elevating effects and thus good prospect to be developed as potential therapeutics to treat psychiatric disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsomega.8b00456DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6173481PMC
September 2018

Immune microenvironment of gliomas.

Lab Invest 2017 05 13;97(5):498-518. Epub 2017 Mar 13.

Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology, Neurobiology Center, Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland.

High-grade gliomas are rapidly progressing tumors of the central nervous system (CNS) with a very poor prognosis despite extensive resection combined with radiation and/or chemotherapy. Histopathological and flow cytometry analyses of human and rodent experimental gliomas revealed heterogeneity of a tumor and its niche, composed of reactive astrocytes, endothelial cells, and numerous immune cells. Infiltrating immune cells consist of CNS resident (microglia) and peripheral macrophages, granulocytes, myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), and T lymphocytes. Intratumoral density of glioma-associated microglia/macrophages (GAMs) and MDSCs is the highest in malignant gliomas and inversely correlates with patient survival. Although GAMs have a few innate immune functions intact, their ability to be stimulated via TLRs, secrete cytokines, and upregulate co-stimulatory molecules is not sufficient to initiate antitumor immune responses. Moreover, tumor-reprogrammed GAMs release immunosuppressive cytokines and chemokines shaping antitumor responses. Both GAMs and MDSCs have ability to attract T regulatory lymphocytes to the tumor, but MDSCs inhibit cytotoxic responses mediated by natural killer cells, and block the activation of tumor-reactive CD4 T helper cells and cytotoxic CD8 T cells. The presence of regulatory T cells may further contribute to the lack of effective immune activation against malignant gliomas. We review the immunological aspects of glioma microenvironment, in particular composition and various roles of the immune cells infiltrating malignant human gliomas and experimental rodent gliomas. We describe tumor-derived signals and mechanisms driving myeloid cell accumulation and reprogramming. Although, understanding the complexity of cell-cell interactions in glioma microenvironment is far from being achieved, recent studies demonstrated several glioma-derived factors that trigger migration, accumulation, and reprogramming of immune cells. Identification of these factors may facilitate development of immunotherapy for gliomas as immunomodulatory and immune evasion mechanisms employed by malignant gliomas pose an appalling challenge to brain tumor immunotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/labinvest.2017.19DOI Listing
May 2017

Insights into the epigenetic mechanisms involving histone lysine methylation and demethylation in ischemia induced damage and repair has therapeutic implication.

Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis 2017 01 21;1863(1):152-164. Epub 2016 Sep 21.

CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Habsiguda, Uppal Road, Hyderabad 500007, India. Electronic address:

Cerebral ischemic stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability worldwide. Therapeutic interventions to minimize ischemia-induced neural damage are limited due to poor understanding of molecular mechanisms mediating complex pathophysiology in stroke. Recently, epigenetic mechanisms mostly histone lysine (K) acetylation and deacetylation have been implicated in ischemic brain damage and have expanded the dimensions of potential therapeutic intervention to the systemic/local administration of histone deacetylase inhibitors. However, the role of other epigenetic mechanisms such as histone lysine methylation and demethylation in stroke-induced damage and subsequent recovery process is elusive. Here, we established an Internal Carotid Artery Occlusion (ICAO) model in CD1 mouse that resulted in mild to moderate level of ischemic damage to the striatum, as suggested by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), TUNEL and histopathological staining along with an evaluation of neurological deficit score (NDS), grip strength and rotarod performance. The molecular investigations show dysregulation of a number of histone lysine methylases (KMTs) and few of histone lysine demethylases (KDMs) post-ICAO with significant global attenuation in the transcriptionally repressive epigenetic mark H3K9me2 in the striatum. Administration of Dimethyloxalylglycine (DMOG), an inhibitor of KDM4 or JMJD2 class of histone lysine demethylases, significantly ameliorated stroke-induced NDS by restoring perturbed H3K9me2 levels in the ischemia-affected striatum. Overall, these results highlight the novel role of epigenetic regulatory mechanisms controlling the epigenetic mark H3K9me2 in mediating the stroke-induced striatal damage and subsequent repair following mild to moderate cerebral ischemia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbadis.2016.09.014DOI Listing
January 2017

Down-regulation of IKKβ expression in glioma-infiltrating microglia/macrophages is associated with defective inflammatory/immune gene responses in glioblastoma.

Oncotarget 2015 Oct;6(32):33077-90

Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology, Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, Warsaw, Poland.

Glioblastoma (GBM) is an aggressive malignancy associated with profound host immunosuppression. Microglia and macrophages infiltrating GBM acquire the pro-tumorigenic, M2 phenotype and support tumor invasion, proliferation, survival, angiogenesis and block immune responses both locally and systematically. Mechanisms responsible for immunological deficits in GBM patients are poorly understood. We analyzed immune/inflammatory gene expression in five datasets of low and high grade gliomas, and performed Gene Ontology and signaling pathway analyses to identify defective transcriptional responses. The expression of many immune/inflammatory response and TLR signaling pathway genes was reduced in high grade gliomas compared to low grade gliomas. In particular, we found the reduced expression of the IKBKB, a gene coding for IKKβ, which phosphorylates IκB proteins and represents a convergence point for most signal transduction pathways leading to NFκB activation. The reduced IKBKB expression and IKKβ levels in GBM tissues were demonstrated by qPCR, Western blotting and immunohistochemistry. The IKKβ expression was down-regulated in microglia/macrophages infiltrating glioblastoma. NFκB activation, prominent in microglia/macrophages infiltrating low grade gliomas, was reduced in microglia/macrophages in glioblastoma tissues. Down-regulation of IKBKB expression and NFκB signaling in microglia/macrophages infiltrating glioblastoma correlates with defective expression of immune/inflammatory genes and M2 polarization that may result in the global impairment of anti-tumor immune responses in glioblastoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.5310DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4741750PMC
October 2015

A novel natural product inspired scaffold with robust neurotrophic, neurogenic and neuroprotective action.

Sci Rep 2015 Sep 21;5:14134. Epub 2015 Sep 21.

CSIR- Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Habsiguda, Uppal Road, Hyderabad 500007, India.

In search for drugs to treat neuropsychiatric disorders wherein neurotrophic and neurogenic properties are affected, two neurotrophically active small molecules specially crafted following natural product leads based on 2-oxa-spiro[5.5]-undecane scaffold, have been thoroughly evaluated for their neurotrophic, neurogenic and neuroprotective potential in ex vivo primary culture and in vivo zebrafish and mouse models. The outcome of in vivo investigations suggest that one of these molecules is more neurotrophic than neurogenic while the other one is more neurogenic than neurotrophic and the former exhibits remarkable neuroprotection in a mouse acute ischemic stroke model. The molecular mechanisms of action of these compounds appear to be through the TrkB-MEK-ERK-CREB-BDNF pathway as pre-treatment with neurotrophin receptor TrkB inhibitor ANA-12 and MEK inhibitor PD98059 attenuates the neurotrophic action of compounds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep14134DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4585672PMC
September 2015
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