Chronic Alcohol-Induced microRNA-155 Contributes to Neuroinflammation in a TLR4-Dependent Manner in Mice

Dora Lippai, Shashi Bala, Timea Csak, Evelyn A. Kurt-Jones, Gyongyi Szabo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

82 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction:Alcohol-induced neuroinflammation is mediated by pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines including tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα), monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP1) and interleukin-1-beta (IL-1β). Toll-like receptor-4 (TLR4) pathway induced nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) activation is involved in the pathogenesis of alcohol-induced neuroinflammation. Inflammation is a highly regulated process. Recent studies suggest that microRNAs (miRNAs) play crucial role in fine tuning gene expression and miR-155 is a major regulator of inflammation in immune cells after TLR stimulation.Aim:To evaluate the role of miR-155 in the pathogenesis of alcohol-induced neuroinflammation.Methods:Wild type (WT), miR-155- and TLR4-knockout (KO) mice received 5% ethanol-containing or isocaloric control diet for 5 weeks. Microglia markers were measured by q-RTPCR; inflammasome activation was measured by enzyme activity; TNFα, MCP1, IL-1β mRNA and protein were measured by q-RTPCR and ELISA; phospho-p65 protein and NF-κB were measured by Western-blotting and EMSA; miRNAs were measured by q-PCR in the cerebellum. MiR-155 was measured in immortalized and primary mouse microglia after lipopolysaccharide and ethanol stimulation.Results:Chronic ethanol feeding up-regulated miR-155 and miR-132 expression in mouse cerebellum. Deficiency in miR-155 protected mice from alcohol-induced increase in inflammatory cytokines; TNFα, MCP1 protein and TNFα, MCP1, pro-IL-1β and pro-caspase-1 mRNA levels were reduced in miR-155 KO alcohol-fed mice. NF-κB was activated in WT but not in miR-155 KO alcohol-fed mice. However increases in cerebellar caspase-1 activity and IL-1β levels were similar in alcohol-fed miR-155-KO and WT mice. Alcohol-fed TLR4-KO mice were protected from the induction of miR-155. NF-κB activation measured by phosphorylation of p65 and neuroinflammation were reduced in alcohol-fed TLR4-KO compared to control mice. TLR4 stimulation with lipopolysaccharide in primary or immortalized mouse microglia resulted in increased miR-155.Conclusion:Chronic alcohol induces miR-155 in the cerebellum in a TLR4-dependent manner. Alcohol-induced miR-155 regulates TNFα and MCP1 expression but not caspase-dependent IL-1β increase in neuroinflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere70945
JournalPloS one
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 9 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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