Viral infections of the central nervous system (CNS) can trigger an antiviral immune response, which initiates an inflammatory cascade to control viral replication and dissemination. The extent of the proinflammatory response in the CNS and the timing of the release of proinflammatory cytokines can lead to neuronal excitability. Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin- 6 (IL-6), two proinflammatory cytokines, have been linked to the development of acute seizures in Theiler's murine encephalomyelitis virus-induced encephalitis. It is unclear the extent to which the infiltrating macrophages versus resident CNS cells, such as microglia, contribute to acute seizures, as both cell types produce TNF-α and IL-6. In this study, we show that following infection a significantly higher number of microglia produced TNF-α than did infiltrating macrophages. In contrast, infiltrating macrophages produced significantly more IL-6. Mice treated with minocycline or wogonin, both of which limit infiltration of immune cells into the CNS and their activation, had significantly fewer macrophages infiltrating the brain, and significantly fewer mice had seizures. Therefore, our studies implicate infiltrating macrophages as an important source of IL-6 that contributes to the development of acute seizures.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science