Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.541, 22-29, 2021
Normal aging induces PD-1-enriched exhausted microglia and A1-like reactive astrocytes in the hypothalamus
Hypothalamic aging is considered to be critical for systemic aging, and the accumulation of "exhausted glial cells" in the hypothalamus may contribute to brain dysfunction. In this study, we used normal aging mice and investigated aging-specific transcriptional identities of microglia and astrocytes in the hypothalamus. We confirmed that normal aging promoted anxiety, induced impairment of motor coordination and reduced physical strength of muscle in mice. To investigate the senescence of hypothalamic glial cells, we isolated CD11b-positive microglia and ACSA-2-positive astrocytes from the hypothalamus of aged mice using magnetic-activated cell sorting (MACS). The mRNA level of p16(INK4A) was dramatically increased in the hypothalamic microglia of aged mice compared to young mice. Furthermore, the expression of programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) as well as A1-like astrocyte mediators in the hypothalamic microglia was dramatically induced by aging, indicating that normal aging may produce PD-1-enriched "exhausted microglia" in the hypothalamus. Furthermore, neuroinflammatory A1-like reactive astrocytes with a p16(INK4A)-positive senescent state were predominantly detected in the hypothalamus of aged mice. Exhausted microglia were also detected in the prefrontal cortex of aged mice, whereas astrocytic neuroinflammation was milder than that observed in the hypothalamus, even with p16(INK4A)-positive senescence. These results suggest that the production of PD-1-enriched exhausted and senescent microglia and neuroinflammatory A1-like reactive astrocytes in the hypothalamus may partly contribute to aging-related emotional and physical dyscoordination. (C) 2020 Published by Elsevier Inc.