Lack of CCR5 modifies glial phenotypes and population of the nigral dopaminergic neurons, but not MPTP-induced dopaminergic neurodegeneration


Dong-Young Choi, Myung-Koo Lee, Jin Tae Hong


Constitutive expression of C-C chemokine receptor (CCR) 5 has been detected in astrocytes, microglia and neurons, but its physiological roles in the central nervous system are obscure. The bidirectional interactions between neuron and glial cells through CCR5 and its ligands were thought to be crucial for maintaining normal neuronal activities. No study has described function of CCR5 in the dopaminergic neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease. In order to examine effects of CCR5 on 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-induced dopaminergic neurodegeneration, we employed CCR5 wild type (WT) and knockout (KO) mice. Immunostainings for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) exhibited that CCR5 KO mice had lower number of TH-positive neurons even in the absence of MPTP. Difference in MPTP (15 mg/kg × 4 times, 2 hr interval)-mediated loss of TH-positive neurons was subtle between CCR5 WT and KO mice, but there was larger dopamine depletion, behavioral impairments and microglial activation in CCR5 deficient mice. Intriguingly, CCR5 KO brains contained higher immunoreactivity for monoamine oxidase (MAO) B which was mainly localized within astrocytes. In agreement with upregulation of MAO B, concentration of MPP + was higher in the substantia nigra and striatum of CCR5 KO mice after MPTP injection. We found remarkable activation of p38 MAPK in CCR5 deficient mice, which positively regulates MAO B expression. These results indicate that CCR5 deficiency modifies the nigrostriatal dopaminergic neuronal system and bidirectional interaction between neurons and glial cells via CCR5 might be important for dopaminergic neuronal survival.

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