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Microglia, the resident immune cells of the brain, can exhibit a broad range of activation phenotypes, many of which have been implicated in several diseases and disorders of the central nervous system including those related to alcohol abuse. Given the complexity of global-scale molecular changes that define microglial activation, accurate phenotypic classification in the context of alcohol exposure is still lacking. We employed an optimized method for deep, quantitative proteome profiling of primary microglia in order to characterize their response to acute exposure to alcohol (ethanol) as well as the pro-inflammatory driver and TLR4 agonist, LPS. From this analysis, 5,062 total proteins were identified where 4,857 and 4,928 of those proteins were quantifiable by label-free quantitation in ethanol and LPS treatment groups, respectively. This study highlights the subtle, yet significant proteomic changes that occur in ethanol-treated microglia, which do not align with the robust pro-inflammatory phenotype induced by TLR4 activation. Specifically, our results indicate inhibition of several upstream regulators associated with inflammation, opposing effects on pathways such as phagocytosis upon comparison to TLR4-mediated pro-inflammatory phenotype, and a potential metabolic shift associated with increased expression of proteins related to OXPHOS and lipid homeostasis. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD14466.
Alcohol abuse has a significant impact on the central nervous system, which includes the pathophysiological mechanisms resulting from glial cell activation. Microglia, in particular, are the resident immune cells of the brain and exhibit a broad range of activation phenotypes. The molecular changes that drive microglial activation phenotype are complex and have yet to be fully characterized in the context of alcohol exposure. Our study highlights the first and most comprehensive characterization of alcohol-induced proteomic changes in primary microglia to date and has shed light on novel immune-related and metabolic pathways that are altered due to alcohol exposure. The results from this study provide an important foundation for future work aimed to understand the complexity of alcohol-induced microglial activation in vivo and other translational models of acute and chronic alcohol exposure.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Journal of proteomics
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The protein complement of an organism coded for by its genome.
The systematic study of the complete complement of proteins (PROTEOME) of organisms.
DEEP VEIN THROMBOSIS of an upper extremity vein (e.g., AXILLARY VEIN; SUBCLAVIAN VEIN; and JUGULAR VEINS). It is associated with mechanical factors (Upper Extremity Deep Vein Thrombosis, Primary) secondary to other anatomic factors (Upper Extremity Deep Vein Thrombosis, Secondary). Symptoms may include sudden onset of pain, warmth, redness, blueness, and swelling in the arm.
Regulation of the concentration, folding, interactions, and cellular localization of each of the proteins that comprise the PROTEOME.
The determination of the pattern of genes expressed at the level of GENETIC TRANSCRIPTION, under specific circumstances or in a specific cell.