The interleukin-4/PPARγ signaling axis promotes oligodendrocyte differentiation and remyelination after brain injury
The repair of white matter damage is of paramount importance for functional recovery after brain injuries. Here, we report that interleukin-4 (IL-4) promotes oligodendrocyte regeneration and remyelination. IL-4 receptor expression was detected in a variety of glial cells after ischemic brain injury, including oligodendrocyte lineage cells. IL-4 deficiency in knockout mice resulted in greater deterioration of white matter over 14 d after stroke. Consistent with these findings, intranasal delivery of IL-4 nanoparticles after stroke improved white matter integrity and attenuated long-term sensorimotor and cognitive deficits in wild-type mice, as revealed by histological immunostaining, electron microscopy, diffusion tensor imaging, and electrophysiology. The selective effect of IL-4 on remyelination was verified in an ex vivo organotypic model of demyelination. By leveraging primary oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs), microglia-depleted mice, and conditional OPC-specific peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) knockout mice, we discovered a direct salutary effect of IL-4 on oligodendrocyte differentiation that was mediated by the PPARγ axis. Our findings reveal a new regenerative role of IL-4 in the central nervous system (CNS), which lies beyond its known immunoregulatory functions on microglia/macrophages or peripheral lym-phocytes. Therefore, intranasal IL-4 delivery may represent a novel therapeutic strategy to improve white matter integrity in stroke and other brain injuries.
Zhang, Q., Zhu, W., Xu, F., Dai, X., Shi, L., Cai, W., Mu, H., Hitchens, T., Foley, L., Liu, X., Yu, F., Chen, J., Shi, Y., Leak, R., Gao, Y., Chen, J., & Hu, X. (2019). The interleukin-4/PPARγ signaling axis promotes oligodendrocyte differentiation and remyelination after brain injury. PLoS Biology, 17 (6). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.3000330