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    Targeting connexin 43 provides anti-inflammatory effects after intracerebral hemorrhage injury by regulating YAP signaling. Yu Hailong,Cao Xiang,Li Wei,Liu Pinyi,Zhao Yuanyuan,Song Lilong,Chen Jian,Chen Beilei,Yu Wenkui,Xu Yun Journal of neuroinflammation BACKGROUND:In the central nervous system (CNS), connexin 43 (Cx43) is mainly expressed in astrocytes and regulates astrocytic network homeostasis. Similar to Cx43 overexpression, abnormal excessive opening of Cx43 hemichannels (Cx43Hcs) on reactive astrocytes aggravates the inflammatory response and cell death in CNS pathologies. However, the role of excessive Cx43Hc opening in intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) injury is not clear. METHODS:Hemin stimulation in primary cells and collagenase IV injection in C57BL/6J (B6) mice were used as ICH models in vitro and in vivo. After ICH injury, the Cx43 mimetic peptide Gap19 was used for treatment. Ethidium bromide (EtBr) uptake assays were used to measure the opening of Cx43Hcs. Western blotting and immunofluorescence were used to measure protein expression. qRT-PCR and ELISA were used to determine the levels of cytokines. Coimmunoprecipitation (Co-IP) and the Duolink in situ proximity ligation assay (PLA) were applied to measure the association between proteins. RESULTS:In this study, Cx43 expression upregulation and excessive Cx43Hc opening was observed in mice after ICH injury. Delayed treatment with Gap19 significantly alleviated hematoma volume and neurological deficits after ICH injury. In addition, Gap19 decreased inflammatory cytokine levels in the tissue surrounding the hematoma and decreased reactive astrogliosis after ICH injury in vitro and in vivo. Intriguingly, Cx43 transcriptional activity and expression in astrocytes were significantly increased after hemin stimulation in culture. However, Gap19 treatment downregulated astrocytic Cx43 expression through the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway without affecting Cx43 transcription. Additionally, our data showed that Gap19 increased Yes-associated protein (YAP) nuclear translocation. This subsequently upregulated SOCS1 and SOCS3 expression and then inhibited the TLR4-NFκB and JAK2-STAT3 pathways in hemin-stimulated astrocytes. Finally, the YAP inhibitor, verteporfin (VP), reversed the anti-inflammatory effect of Gap19 in vitro and almost completely blocked its protective effects in vivo after ICH injury. CONCLUSIONS:This study provides new insight into potential treatment strategies for ICH injury involving astroglial Cx43 and Cx43Hcs. Suppression of abnormal astroglial Cx43 expression and Cx43Hc opening by Gap19 has anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects after ICH injury. 10.1186/s12974-020-01978-z
    Astrocytic YAP protects the optic nerve and retina in an experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis model through TGF-β signaling. Wu Qian,Miao Xuemeng,Zhang Jingjing,Xiang Ludan,Li Xiuchun,Bao Xiaomei,Du Siyu,Wang Mianxian,Miao Shuangda,Fan Yiren,Wang Wei,Xu Xingxing,Shen Xiya,Yang Danlu,Wang Xiwu,Fang Yuanyuan,Hu Lixin,Pan Xuyi,Dong Haoru,Wang Hui,Wang Ying,Li Jia,Huang Zhihui Theranostics Optic neuritis is one of main symptoms in multiple sclerosis (MS) that causes visual disability. Astrocytes are pivotal regulators of neuroinflammation in MS, and astrocytic yes-associated protein (YAP) plays a critical role in neuroinflammation. Meanwhile, YAP signaling is involved in visual impairment, including glaucoma, retinal choroidal atrophy and retinal detachment. However, the roles and underlying mechanisms of astrocytic YAP in neuroinflammation and demyelination of MS-related optic neuritis (MS-ON) remains unclear. To assess the functions of YAP in MS-ON, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE, a common model of MS) was established, and mice that conditional knockout (CKO) of YAP in astrocytes, YAP-CKO mice, were successfully generated. Behavior tests, immunostaining, Nissl staining, Hematoxylin-Eosin (HE) staining, TUNEL staining, Luxol Fast Blue (LFB) staining, electron microscopy (EM), quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR), gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) and gene set variation analysis (GSVA) by RNA sequencing were used to examine the function and mechanism of YAP signaling based on these YAP-CKO mice and EAE model mice. To further explore the potential treatment of YAP signaling in EAE, EAE mice were treated with various drugs, including SRI-011381 that is an agonist of transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) pathway, and XMU-MP-1 which inhibits Hippo kinase MST1/2 to activate YAP. We found that YAP was significantly upregulated and activated in the astrocytes of optic nerve in EAE mice. Conditional knockout of YAP in astrocytes caused more severe inflammatory infiltration and demyelination in optic nerve, and damage of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in EAE mice. Moreover, YAP deletion in astrocytes promoted the activation of astrocytes and microglia, but inhibited the proliferation of astrocytes of optic nerve in EAE mice. Mechanically, TGF-β signaling pathway was significantly down-regulated after YAP deletion in astrocytes. Additionally, both qPCR and immunofluorescence assays confirmed the reduction of TGF-β signaling pathway in YAP-CKO EAE mice. Interestingly, SRI-011381 partially rescued the deficits in optic nerve and retina of YAP-CKO EAE mice. Finally, activation of YAP signaling by XMU-MP-1 relieved the neuroinflammation and demyelination in optic nerve of EAE mice. These results suggest astrocytic YAP may prevent the neuroinflammatory infiltration and demyelination through upregulation of TGF-β signaling and provide targets for the development of therapeutic strategies tailored for MS-ON. 10.7150/thno.60031