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Impairing committed cholesterol biosynthesis in white matter astrocytes, but not grey matter astrocytes, enhances in vitro myelination

Werkman, I. L., Kövilein, J., de Jonge, J. C. & Baron, W., 31-Jul-2020, In : Journal of Neurochemistry. 18 p.

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Remyelination is a regenerative process that is essential to recover saltatory conduction and to prevent neurodegeneration upon demyelination. The formation of new myelin involves the differentiation of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) toward oligodendrocytes and requires high amounts of cholesterol. Astrocytes (ASTRs) modulate remyelination by supplying lipids to oligodendrocytes. Remarkably, remyelination is more efficient in grey matter (GM) than in white matter (WM), which may relate to regional differences in ASTR subtype. Here, we show that a feeding layer of gmASTRs was more supportive to in vitro myelination than a feeding layer of wmASTRs. While conditioned medium from both gmASTRs and wmASTRs accelerated gmOPC differentiation, wmOPC differentiation is enhanced by secreted factors from gmASTRs, but not wmASTRs. In vitro analyses revealed that gmASTRs secreted more cholesterol than wmASTRs. Cholesterol efflux from both ASTR types was reduced upon exposure to pro-inflammatory cytokines, which was mediated via cholesterol transporter ABCA1, but not ABCG1, and correlated with a minor reduction of myelin membrane formation by oligodendrocytes. Surprisingly, a wmASTR knockdown of Fdft1 encoding for squalene synthase (SQS), an enzyme essential for the first committed step in cholesterol biosynthesis, enhanced in vitro myelination. Reduced secretion of interleukin-1β likely by enhanced isoprenylation, and increased unsaturated fatty acid synthesis, both pathways upstream of SQS, likely masked the effect of reduced levels of ASTR-derived cholesterol. Hence, our findings indicate that gmASTRs export more cholesterol and are more supportive to myelination than wmASTRs, but specific inhibition of cholesterol biosynthesis in ASTRs is beneficial for wmASTR-mediated modulation of myelination. (Figure presented.).

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Early online date30-Jun-2020
Publication statusPublished - 31-Jul-2020

    Keywords

  • astrocytes, cholesterol, cytokines, myelin, oligodendrocyte, MULTIPLE-SCLEROSIS LESIONS, REMYELINATION, NEURONS, DIFFERENTIATION, CNS, OLIGODENDROCYTES, PROTEINS, CELLS, MODEL, ADULT

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