The European journal of neuroscience

Interferon regulatory factor 4/5 signaling impacts on microglial activation after ischemic stroke in mice.

PMID 29131464


Microglial activation is a key element in initiating and perpetuating inflammatory responses to stroke. Interferon regulatory factor 5 (IRF5) and IRF4 signaling have been found critical in mediating macrophage pro-inflammatory (M1) and anti-inflammatory (M2) phenotypes, respectively, in peripheral inflammation. We hypothesize that the IRF5/4 regulatory axis also mediates microglial activation after stroke. C57BL6 mice of 8-12 weeks were subject to a 90-min middle cerebral artery occlusion, and the brains evaluated at 24 h, 3, 10 and 30 days after reperfusion. Flow cytometry was utilized to examine microglial activation and cytokine expression. RT-PCR was performed for mRNA levels of IRF5/4 in sorted microglia. Microglial expression of IRF5/4 was examined by immunohistochemistry, and brain cytokine levels were determined by ELISA. Our results revealed that the IRF5 mRNA level in sorted microglia increased at 3 days of stroke; whereas IRF4 mRNA level exhibited biphasic increases, with a transient rise at 24 h and a peak at 10 days. The same pattern was seen in IRF5/4 protein colocalization with Iba-1