Alternatively activated myeloid (M2) cells enhance cognitive function in immune compromised mice

Noel C. Derecki, Kayla M. Quinnies, Jonathan Kipnis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations

Abstract

It was recently shown that adaptive immunity plays a key role in cognitive function. T cells appear to be major players in learning and memory; thus, mice devoid of functional T cells are impaired in performance of cognitive tasks such as Morris water maze (MWM), Barnes maze and others. This is a reversible phenomenon; injection of immune deficient mice with T cells from wild type counterparts improves their cognitive function. Recently we described a critical role for T cell-derived IL-4 as having beneficial effects on learning and memory through regulation of meningeal myeloid cell phenotype. In the absence of IL-4, meningeal myeloid cells acquire a pro-inflammatory skew. Thus, the presence of IL-4 in the meningeal spaces maintains a delicate balance of pro- and anti-inflammatory myeloid cell phenotype. Here we show that macrophages alternatively activated in vitro (M2 cells) can circumvent the need for 'pro-cognitive' T cells when injected intravenously into immune deficient mice. These results show for the first time that M2 myeloid cells are new and unexpected players in cognitive function, conferring beneficial effects on learning and memory without adaptive immune influence. These results might lead to development of new therapeutic approaches for cognitive pathologies associated with malfunction of adaptive immunity, such as chemo-brain, age-related dementia, HIV-dementia, and others.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-385
Number of pages7
JournalBrain, Behavior, and Immunity
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2011

Keywords

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Cognition
  • Cytokines
  • IL-4
  • Learning behavior
  • M2
  • Morris water maze
  • Pro-inflammatory
  • T cells

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