The effect of A1 and A2 reactive astrocyte expression on hydrocephalus shunt failure

Fluids Barriers CNS. 2022 Sep 28;19(1):78. doi: 10.1186/s12987-022-00367-3.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The composition of tissue obstructing neuroprosthetic devices is largely composed of inflammatory cells with a significant astrocyte component. In a first-of-its-kind study, we profile the astrocyte phenotypes present on hydrocephalus shunts.

METHODS: qPCR and RNA in-situ hybridization were used to quantify pro-inflammatory (A1) and anti-inflammatory (A2) reactive astrocyte phenotypes by analyzing C3 and EMP1 genes, respectively. Additionally, CSF cytokine levels were quantified using ELISA. In an in vitro model of astrocyte growth on shunts, different cytokines were used to prevent the activation of resting astrocytes into the A1 and A2 phenotypes. Obstructed and non-obstructed shunts were characterized based on the degree of actual tissue blockage on the shunt surface instead of clinical diagnosis.

RESULTS: The results showed a heterogeneous population of A1 and A2 reactive astrocytes on the shunts with obstructed shunts having a significantly higher proportion of A2 astrocytes compared to non-obstructed shunts. In addition, the pro-A2 cytokine IL-6 inducing proliferation of astrocytes was found at higher concentrations among CSF from obstructed samples. Consequently, in the in vitro model of astrocyte growth on shunts, cytokine neutralizing antibodies were used to prevent activation of resting astrocytes into the A1 and A2 phenotypes which resulted in a significant reduction in both A1 and A2 growth.

CONCLUSIONS: Therefore, targeting cytokines involved with astrocyte A1 and A2 activation is a promising intervention aimed to prevent shunt obstruction.

PMID:36171630 | DOI:10.1186/s12987-022-00367-3

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