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Endotoxemia and sepsis induce neuroinflammation and increase the risk of neurodegenerative disorders although the mechanism by which peripheral infection leads to brain inflammation is not well understood. While circulating serum lipoproteins are known immunometabolites with the potential to modulate the acute phase response and cross the blood brain barrier, their contribution to neuroinflammation during systemic infection is unknown. The objective of this study was to elucidate the mechanisms by which lipoprotein subclasses modulate lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced neuroinflammation. Adult C57BL/6 mice were divided into 6 treatment groups, including a sterile saline vehicle control group (n = 9), an LPS group (n = 11), a premixed LPS + HDL group (n = 6), a premixed LPS + LDL group (n = 5), a HDL only group (n = 6) and an LDL only group (n = 3). In all cases injections were administered intraperitoneally. LPS was administered at 0.5 mg/kg, and lipoproteins were administered at 20 mg/kg. Behavioural testing and tissue collection was performed 6 h post-injection. The magnitude of peripheral and central inflammation was determined by qPCR of pro-inflammatory genes in fresh liver and brain. Metabolite profiles of liver, plasma and brain were determined by 1H NMR. Endotoxin concentration in the brain was measured by the Limulus Amoebocyte Lysate (LAL) assay. Co-administration of LPS + HDL exacerbated both peripheral and central inflammation, whilst LPS + LDL attenuated this inflammation. Metabolomic analysis identified several metabolites significantly associated with LPS-induced inflammation, which were partially rescued by LDL, but not HDL. Endotoxin was detected at significantly greater concentrations in the brains of animals that received LPS + HDL compared to LPS + saline, but not those that received LPS + LDL. These results suggest that HDL may promote neuroinflammation through direct shuttling of endotoxin to the brain. In contrast, LDL was shown to have anti-neuroinflammatory properties in this study. Our results indicate that lipoproteins may be useful targets in neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration associated with endotoxemia and sepsis.

Original publication




Journal article


Lipids Health Dis

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Acute phase response, LPS, Lipoproteins, Metabolomics, NMR, Neuroinflammation, Mice, Animals, Lipopolysaccharides, Endotoxemia, Neuroinflammatory Diseases, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Lipoproteins, Inflammation, Endotoxins, Encephalitis, Sepsis