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High-mobility group box 1 released from astrocytes promotes the proliferation of cultured neural stem/progenitor cells

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Astrocytes are major components of the adult neurogenic niche and play a crucial role in regulating neural stem cell proliferation and differentiation. Following brain injury, astrocytes become reactive and release high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1), which plays a crucial role in the inflammatory process. However, although it has been reported that HMGB1 promotes neural stem/progenitor cell (NS/PC) proliferation in the developing brain, whether HMGB1 released by reactive astrocytes regulates NS/PC proliferation remains unknown. In this study, we aimed to investigate whether HMGB1 released from reactive astrocytes enhances NS/PC proliferation and to elucidate the possible mechanisms involved in this process. To evaluate the effects of HMGB1 on NS/PC proliferation, NS/PCs were cultured in HMGB1 culture medium and astrocyte-conditioned medium with or without reactive astrocyte-derived HMGB1 by RNA interference (RNAi). To explore the possible mechanisms, the HMGB1 receptor for advanced glycation endproducts (RAGE) in the NS/PCs was blocked with anti-RAGE antibody, and c-Jun N-terminal protein kinase (JNK) in the NS/PCs was inhibited using the potent JNK inhibitor, SP600125. Our results suggested that HMGB1 released from reactive astrocytes promoted NS/PC proliferation in vitro, and the blockade of RAGE or the inhibition of the JNK signaling pathway in the NS/PCs prevented the HMGB1-induced NS/PC proliferation. Our findings demonstrated that HMGB1 released by reactive astrocytes promoted NS/PC proliferation by binding RAGE and enhancing the phosphorylation of the JNK signaling pathway. These findings support a previously described mechanism of a crosstalk between astrocytes and NS/PCs, and suggest that reactive astrocyte-derived HMGB1 plays an important role in the repair of the central nervous system following brain injury.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Neurology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 40016, P.R. China 2: Department of Orthopedics, Shanxi Academy of Medical Sciences, Shanxi Dayi Hospital, Taiyuan, Shanxi 030032, P.R. China 3: Basic Medicine College of Shanxi Medical University, Taiyuan, Shanxi 030001, P.R. China

Publication date: January 1, 2014

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  • The International Journal of Molecular Medicine is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the publication of high quality studies related to the molecular mechanisms of human disease. The journal welcomes research on all aspects of molecular and clinical research, ranging from biochemistry to immunology, pathology, genetics, human genomics, microbiology, molecular pathogenesis, molecular cardiology, molecular surgery and molecular psychology.

    The International Journal of Molecular Medicine aims to provide an insight for researchers within the community in regard to developing molecular tools and identifying molecular targets for the diagnosis and treatment of a diverse number of human diseases.
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