The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience

Newly Formed Endothelial Cells Regulate Myeloid Cell Activity Following Spinal Cord Injury via Expression of CD200 Ligand.

PMID 28123029


The central nervous system (CNS) is endowed with several immune-related mechanisms that contribute to its protection and maintenance in homeostasis and under pathology. Here, we discovered an additional mechanism that controls inflammatory responses within the CNS milieu under injurious conditions, involving CD200 ligand (CD200L) expressed by newly formed endothelial cells. We observed that CD200L is constitutively expressed in the mouse healthy CNS by endothelial cells of the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier and of the spinal cord meninges, but not by the endothelium of the blood-spinal cord barrier. Following spinal cord injury (SCI), newly formed endothelial cells, located only at the epicenter of the lesion site, expressed CD200L. Moreover, in the absence of CD200L expression by CNS-resident cells, functional recovery of mice following SCI was impaired. High throughput single-cell flow cytometry image analysis following SCI revealed CD200L-dependent direct interaction between endothelial and local CD200R(+) myeloid cells, including activated microglia and infiltrating monocyte-derived macrophages (mo-MΦ). Absence of CD200L signaling, both in vitro and in vivo, resulted in a higher inflammatory response of the encountering macrophages, manifested by elevation in mRNA expression of Tnfα and Il1β, increased intracellular TNFα immunoreactivity, and reduced expression levels of macrophage factors that are associated with resolution of inflammation, Dectin-1, CD206 (mannose receptor), and IL-4R. Collectively, our results highlight the importance of CD200-mediated immune dialogue between endothelial cells and the local resident microglia and infiltrating mo-MΦ within the lesion area, as a mechanism that contributes to regulation of inflammation following acute CNS injury. This manuscript focuses on a novel mechanism of inflammation-regulation following spinal cord injury (SCI), orchestrated by CD200-ligand (CD200L) expressed by newly formed endothelial cells within the lesion site. Our study reveals that, in homeostasis, CD200L is expressed by endothelial cells of the mouse blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier and of the blood-leptomeningeal barrier, but not by endothelial cells of the blood-spinal cord barrier. Following SCI, newly formed endothelial cells located within the epicenter of the lesion site were found to express CD200L at time points that were shown to be critical for repair. Our results reveal a direct interaction between CD200L(+) endothelial cells and CD200R(+) microglia and macrophages, resulting in attenuated inflammation, biasing macrophage phenotype toward inflammation-resolving cells, and promotion of functional recovery following SCI.