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Transferrin Enhances Microglial Phagocytic Capacity

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Abstract

Transferrin (Tf) is a glycoprotein playing a critical role in iron homeostasis and transport and distribution throughout the body and within tissues and cells. This molecule has been shown to accelerate the process of myelination and remyelination in the central nervous system (CNS) in vivo and induce oligodendroglial cell maturation in vitro. While the mechanisms involved in oligodendroglial precursor cell (OPC) differentiation have not been fully elucidated yet, our group has previously described the first molecular events taking place in OPC in response to extracellular Tf. Here, we show the effect of Tf on the different glial cell populations. We demonstrate that, after a CNS demyelinating injury, Tf can be incorporated by all glial cells—i.e., microglia, astrocytes, and OPC—and that, acting on microglial cells in vitro, Tf increases microglial proliferation rates and phagocytic capacity. It may be then speculated that the in vivo correlation of this process could generate a favorable microenvironment for OPC maturation and remyelination.

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Abbreviations

aTf:

Human apotransferrin

BrdU:

Bromodeoxyuridine

CC:

Corpus callosum

CD11b:

Cluster of differentiation 11b (integrin alpha M)

CNS:

Central nervous system

CPZ:

Cuprizone

Ctl:

Control

Cyt B:

Cytochalasin B

EIA:

Enzyme immunoassays

FCS:

Fetal calf serum

GFAP:

Glial fibrillary acidic protein

Griffonia:

Griffonia simplicifolia isolectin B4

Hoechst:

bisbenzimide H-33258

HRP:

Horseradish peroxidase

ICI:

Intracranial injection

IL:

Interleukin

LPS:

Lipopolysaccharide

MBP:

Myelin basic protein

MS:

Multiple sclerosis

MTT:

Thiazolyl blue tetrazolium bromide

NG2:

Neural/glial antigen 2

OLG:

Oligodendrocyte

OPC:

Oligodendrocyte precursor cells

PDGFR-α:

Platelet-derived growth factor receptor-alpha

PFA:

Paraformaldehyde

PI:

Propidium iodide

Tf:

Transferrin

TfR:

Tf receptor 1

Tf-TR:

Human Tf conjugated to Texas Red

TNF-α:

Tumor necrosis factor alpha

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Acknowledgments

The authors are grateful to Dr. Lucas Silvestroff for insightful comments and helpful discussions on this manuscript and María Marta Rancez for the revision of English spelling, grammar, and style in the manuscript.

Funding Sources

This work was supported by grants from the Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica (BID- PICT 2015-0503) and the University of Buenos Aires (UBA).

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Correspondence to María Julia Pérez.

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Carden, T.R., Correale, J., Pasquini, J.M. et al. Transferrin Enhances Microglial Phagocytic Capacity. Mol Neurobiol 56, 6324–6340 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12035-019-1519-0

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