Agathisflavone Modifies Microglial Activation State and Myelination in Organotypic Cerebellar Slices Culture

Monique Marylin Alves de Almeida, Francesca Pieropan, Tim Footz, Jorge Mauricio David, Juceni Pereira David, Victor Diogenes Amaral Da Silva, Cleide Dos Santos Souza, Anastassia Voronova, Arthur Butt, Silvia Lima Costa

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Oligodendrocytes produce the myelin that is critical for rapid neuronal transmission in the central nervous system (CNS). Disruption of myelin has devastating effects on CNS function, as in the demyelinating disease multiple sclerosis (MS). Microglia are the endogenous immune cells of the CNS and play a central role in demyelination and repair. There is a need for new potential therapies that regulate myelination and microglia to promote repair. Agathisflavone (FAB) is a non-toxic flavonoid that is known for its anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties. Here, we examined the effects of FAB (5-50 μM) on myelination and microglia in organotypic cerebellar slices prepared from P10-P12 Sox10-EGFP and Plp1-DsRed transgenic mice. Immunofluorescence labeling for myelin basic protein (MBP) and neurofilament (NF) demonstrates that FAB significantly increased the proportion of MBP + /NF + axons but did not affect the overall number of oligodendroglia or axons, or the expression of oligodendroglial proteins CNPase and MBP. FAB is known to be a phytoestrogen, but blockade of α- or β- estrogen receptors (ER) indicated the myelination promoting effects of FAB were not mediated by ER. Examination of microglial responses by Iba1 immunohistochemistry demonstrated that FAB markedly altered microglial morphology, characterized by smaller somata and reduced branching of their processes, consistent with a decreased state of activation, and increased Iba1 protein expression. The results provide evidence that FAB increases the extent of axonal coverage by MBP immunopositive oligodendroglial processes and has a modulatory effect upon microglial cells, which are important therapeutic strategies in multiple neuropathologies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-217
JournalJournal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology
Early online date21 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022


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  • BB/M029379/1


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