College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Aged mice exhibit greater mortality concomitant to increased brain and plasma TNF-alpha levels following intracerebroventricular injection of lipopolysaccharide

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2000

Publication Title

Gerontology

ISSN

0304-324X

Volume

46

Issue/No.

3

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Age-related defects in the development of peripheral inflammatory responses have been observed in rodents and humans.

OBJECTIVE:

We examined the effects of age on a centrally injected endotoxin-induced cytokine production and cellular activation in mice.

METHODS:

Male C57BL/6J (B6) mice, C3H/HeN mice, and C3H/HeJ mice received an intracerebroventricular injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and were sacrificed at various times (2, 4, 8 h) thereafter. ELISA for IL-1beta, IL-6, IL-12, and TNF-alpha were conducted on forebrain tissue homogenates as well as plasma samples, and lectin staining to detect activated microglia was prepared for selected brain slices.

RESULTS:

Intracerebroventricular injection of LPS in B6 mice produced an age-associated increase in mortality which was paralleled with a significant increase in brain and plasma levels of TNF-alpha. AntiTNF-alpha- and IL-6-immunoreactive cells possessed macrophagelike morphologies and were observed along the LPS injection tract and scattered throughout the hilus of the dorsal hippocampus and cerebral cortices. This LPS-mediated response was found to be specific in that the LPS-hyporesponsive mouse strain (C3H/HeJ) failed to demonstrate significant brain or plasma levels of TNF-alpha after LPS administration compared to C3H/HeN mice.

CONCLUSION:

These results suggest that the age-related increases in TNF-alpha production and mortality following the intracerebroventricular administration of LPS may be due to an increased endotoxin hypersensitivity of brain microglia/macrophages within aged animals.

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Peer Reviewed

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