Tanshinone IIA alleviates brain damage in a mouse model of neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder by inducing neutrophil apoptosis.
J Neuroinflammation. 2020 Jun 25 ;17(1):198. Epub 2020 Jun 25. PMID: 32586353
BACKGROUND: Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD), an autoimmune astrocytopathic disease associated with the anti-aquaporin-4 (AQP4) antibody, is characterized by extensive necrotic lesions primarily located on the optic nerves and spinal cord. Tanshinone IIA (TSA), an active natural compound extracted from Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge, has profound immunosuppressive effects on neutrophils.
OBJECTIVE: The present study aimed to evaluate the effect of TSA on NMOSD mice and explore the underlying mechanisms. Mice were initially administered TSA (pre-TSA group, n = 20) or vehicle (vehicle group, n = 20) every 8 h for 3 days, and then NMOSD model was induced by intracerebral injection of NMOSD-immunoglobulin G (NMO-IgG) and human complement (hC). In addition, post-TSA mice (n = 10) were administered equal dose of TSA at 8 h and 16 h after model induction. At 24 h after intracerebral injection, histological analysis was performed to assess the inhibitory effects of TSA on astrocyte damage, demyelination, and neuroinflammation in NMOSD mice, and western blotting was conducted to clarify the effect of TSA on the NF-κB and MAPK signaling pathways. Furthermore, flow cytometry and western blottingwere conducted to verify the proapoptotic effects of TSA on neutrophils in vitro.
RESULTS: There was a profound reduction in astrocyte damage and demyelination in the pre-TSA group and post-TSA group. However, prophylactic administration of TSA induced a better effect than therapeutic treatment. The number of infiltrated neutrophils was also decreased in the lesions of NMOSD mice that were pretreated with TSA. We confirmed that prophylactic administration of TSA significantly promoted neutrophil apoptosis in NMOSD lesions in vivo, and this proapoptotic effect was mediated by modulating the caspase pathway in the presence of inflammatory stimuli in vitro. In addition, TSA restricted activation of the NF-κB signaling pathway in vivo.
CONCLUSION: Our data provide evidence that TSA can act as a prophylactic agent that reduces NMO-IgG-induced damage in the mouse brain by enhancing the resolution of inflammation by inducing neutrophil apoptosis, and TSA may serve as a promising therapeutic agent for neutrophil-associated inflammatory disorders, such as NMOSD.