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    Traumatic Brain Injury in Aged Mice Induces Chronic Microglia Activation, Synapse Loss, and Complement-Dependent Memory Deficits. Krukowski Karen,Chou Austin,Feng Xi,Tiret Brice,Paladini Maria-Serena,Riparip Lara-Kirstie,Chaumeil Myriam M,Lemere Cynthia,Rosi Susanna International journal of molecular sciences Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is of particular concern for the aging community since there is both increased incidence of TBI and decreased functional recovery in this population. In addition, TBI is the strongest environmental risk factor for development of Alzheimer's disease and other dementia-related neurodegenerative disorders. Critical changes that affect cognition take place over time following the initial insult. Our previous work identified immune system activation as a key contributor to cognitive deficits observed in aged animals. Using a focal contusion model in the current study, we demonstrate a brain lesion and cavitation formation, as well as prolonged blood⁻brain barrier breakdown. These changes were associated with a prolonged inflammatory response, characterized by increased microglial cell number and phagocytic activity 30 days post injury, corresponding to significant memory deficits. We next aimed to identify the injury-induced cellular and molecular changes that lead to chronic cognitive deficits in aged animals, and measured increases in complement initiation components C1q, C3, and CR3, which are known to regulate microglial⁻synapse interactions. Specifically, we found significant accumulation of C1q on synapses within the hippocampus, which was paralleled by synapse loss 30 days post injury. We used genetic and pharmacological approaches to determine the mechanistic role of complement initiation on cognitive loss in aging animals after TBI. Notably, both genetic and pharmacological blockade of the complement pathway prevented memory deficits in aged injured animals. Thus, therapeutically targeting early components of the complement cascade represents a significant avenue for possible clinical intervention following TBI in the aging population. 10.3390/ijms19123753
    C1q Regulates Horizontal Cell Neurite Confinement in the Outer Retina. Burger Courtney A,Jiang Danye,Li Fenge,Samuel Melanie A Frontiers in neural circuits During development, neurons generate excess processes which are then eliminated in concert with circuit maturation. C1q is the initiating protein in the complement cascade and has been implicated in this process, but whether C1q-mediated elimination is targeted to particular neural compartments is unclear. Using the murine retina, we identify C1q as a specific regulator of horizontal cell neurite confinement. Subsets of horizontal cell dendritic and axonal neurites extend into the outer retina suggesting that complement achieves both cellular and subcellular selectivity. These alterations emerge as outer retina synapses become mature. expression is restricted to retina microglia, and the loss of C1q results in decreased microglia activation. This pathway appears independent of the C3a receptor (C3aR) and complement receptor 3 (CR3), as horizontal cells are normal when either protein is absent. Together, these data identify a new role for C1q in cell and neurite-specific confinement and implicate microglia-mediated phagocytosis in this process. 10.3389/fncir.2020.583391
    Local externalization of phosphatidylserine mediates developmental synaptic pruning by microglia. Scott-Hewitt Nicole,Perrucci Fabio,Morini Raffaella,Erreni Marco,Mahoney Matthew,Witkowska Agata,Carey Alanna,Faggiani Elisa,Schuetz Lisa Theresia,Mason Sydney,Tamborini Matteo,Bizzotto Matteo,Passoni Lorena,Filipello Fabia,Jahn Reinhard,Stevens Beth,Matteoli Michela The EMBO journal Neuronal circuit assembly requires the fine balance between synapse formation and elimination. Microglia, through the elimination of supernumerary synapses, have an established role in this process. While the microglial receptor TREM2 and the soluble complement proteins C1q and C3 are recognized as key players, the neuronal molecular components that specify synapses to be eliminated are still undefined. Here, we show that exposed phosphatidylserine (PS) represents a neuronal "eat-me" signal involved in microglial-mediated pruning. In hippocampal neuron and microglia co-cultures, synapse elimination can be partially prevented by blocking accessibility of exposed PS using Annexin V or through microglial loss of TREM2. In vivo, PS exposure at both hippocampal and retinogeniculate synapses and engulfment of PS-labeled material by microglia occurs during established developmental periods of microglial-mediated synapse elimination. Mice deficient in C1q, which fail to properly refine retinogeniculate connections, have elevated presynaptic PS exposure and reduced PS engulfment by microglia. These data provide mechanistic insight into microglial-mediated synapse pruning and identify a novel role of developmentally regulated neuronal PS exposure that is common among developing brain structures. 10.15252/embj.2020105380
    Targeted Complement Inhibition at Synapses Prevents Microglial Synaptic Engulfment and Synapse Loss in Demyelinating Disease. Werneburg Sebastian,Jung Jonathan,Kunjamma Rejani B,Ha Seung-Kwon,Luciano Nicholas J,Willis Cory M,Gao Guangping,Biscola Natalia P,Havton Leif A,Crocker Stephen J,Popko Brian,Reich Daniel S,Schafer Dorothy P Immunity Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a demyelinating, autoimmune disease of the central nervous system. While work has focused on myelin and axon loss in MS, less is known about mechanisms underlying synaptic changes. Using postmortem human MS tissue, a preclinical nonhuman primate model of MS, and two rodent models of demyelinating disease, we investigated synapse changes in the visual system. Similar to other neurodegenerative diseases, microglial synaptic engulfment and profound synapse loss were observed. In mice, synapse loss occurred independently of local demyelination and neuronal degeneration but coincided with gliosis and increased complement component C3, but not C1q, at synapses. Viral overexpression of the complement inhibitor Crry at C3-bound synapses decreased microglial engulfment of synapses and protected visual function. These results indicate that microglia eliminate synapses through the alternative complement cascade in demyelinating disease and identify a strategy to prevent synapse loss that may be broadly applicable to other neurodegenerative diseases. VIDEO ABSTRACT. 10.1016/j.immuni.2019.12.004
    Local apoptotic-like mechanisms underlie complement-mediated synaptic pruning. Györffy Balázs A,Kun Judit,Török György,Bulyáki Éva,Borhegyi Zsolt,Gulyássy Péter,Kis Viktor,Szocsics Péter,Micsonai András,Matkó János,Drahos László,Juhász Gábor,Kékesi Katalin A,Kardos József Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America C1q, a member of the immune complement cascade, is implicated in the selective pruning of synapses by microglial phagocytosis. C1q-mediated synapse elimination has been shown to occur during brain development, while increased activation and complement-dependent synapse loss is observed in neurodegenerative diseases. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying C1q-controlled synaptic pruning are mostly unknown. This study addresses distortions in the synaptic proteome leading to C1q-tagged synapses. Our data demonstrated the preferential localization of C1q to the presynapse. Proteomic investigation and pathway analysis of C1q-tagged synaptosomes revealed the presence of apoptotic-like processes in C1q-tagged synapses, which was confirmed experimentally with apoptosis markers. Moreover, the induction of synaptic apoptotic-like mechanisms in a model of sensory deprivation-induced synaptic depression led to elevated C1q levels. Our results unveiled that C1q label-based synaptic pruning is triggered by and directly linked to apoptotic-like processes in the synaptic compartment. 10.1073/pnas.1722613115
    Synaptic mitochondrial dysfunction and septin accumulation are linked to complement-mediated synapse loss in an Alzheimer's disease animal model. Györffy Balázs A,Tóth Vilmos,Török György,Gulyássy Péter,Kovács Réka Á,Vadászi Henrietta,Micsonai András,Tóth Melinda E,Sántha Miklós,Homolya László,Drahos László,Juhász Gábor,Kékesi Katalin A,Kardos József Cellular and molecular life sciences : CMLS Synaptic functional disturbances with concomitant synapse loss represent central pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease. Excessive accumulation of cytotoxic amyloid oligomers is widely recognized as a key event that underlies neurodegeneration. Certain complement components are crucial instruments of widespread synapse loss because they can tag synapses with functional impairments leading to their engulfment by microglia. However, an exact understanding of the affected synaptic functions that predispose to complement-mediated synapse elimination is lacking. Therefore, we conducted systematic proteomic examinations on synaptosomes prepared from an amyloidogenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease (APP/PS1). Synaptic fractions were separated according to the presence of the C1q-tag using fluorescence-activated synaptosome sorting and subjected to proteomic comparisons. The results raised the decline of mitochondrial functions in the C1q-tagged synapses of APP/PS1 mice based on enrichment analyses, which was verified using flow cytometry. Additionally, proteomics results revealed extensive alterations in the level of septin protein family members, which are known to dynamically form highly organized pre- and postsynaptic supramolecular structures, thereby affecting synaptic transmission. High-resolution microscopy investigations demonstrated that synapses with considerable amounts of septin-3 and septin-5 show increased accumulation of C1q in APP/PS1 mice compared to the wild-type ones. Moreover, a strong positive correlation was apparent between synaptic septin-3 levels and C1q deposition as revealed via flow cytometry and confocal microscopy examinations. In sum, our results imply that deterioration of synaptic mitochondrial functions and alterations in the organization of synaptic septins are associated with complement-dependent synapse loss in Alzheimer's disease. 10.1007/s00018-020-03468-0
    Complement and microglia mediate early synapse loss in Alzheimer mouse models. Hong Soyon,Beja-Glasser Victoria F,Nfonoyim Bianca M,Frouin Arnaud,Li Shaomin,Ramakrishnan Saranya,Merry Katherine M,Shi Qiaoqiao,Rosenthal Arnon,Barres Ben A,Lemere Cynthia A,Selkoe Dennis J,Stevens Beth Science (New York, N.Y.) Synapse loss in Alzheimer's disease (AD) correlates with cognitive decline. Involvement of microglia and complement in AD has been attributed to neuroinflammation, prominent late in disease. Here we show in mouse models that complement and microglia mediate synaptic loss early in AD. C1q, the initiating protein of the classical complement cascade, is increased and associated with synapses before overt plaque deposition. Inhibition of C1q, C3, or the microglial complement receptor CR3 reduces the number of phagocytic microglia, as well as the extent of early synapse loss. C1q is necessary for the toxic effects of soluble β-amyloid (Aβ) oligomers on synapses and hippocampal long-term potentiation. Finally, microglia in adult brains engulf synaptic material in a CR3-dependent process when exposed to soluble Aβ oligomers. Together, these findings suggest that the complement-dependent pathway and microglia that prune excess synapses in development are inappropriately activated and mediate synapse loss in AD. 10.1126/science.aad8373
    Ocular Dominance Plasticity in Binocular Primary Visual Cortex Does Not Require C1q. Welsh Christina A,Stephany Céleste-Élise,Sapp Richard W,Stevens Beth The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience C1q, the initiator of the classical complement cascade, mediates synapse elimination in the postnatal mouse dorsolateral geniculate nucleus of the thalamus and sensorimotor cortex. Here, we asked whether C1q plays a role in experience-dependent synaptic refinement in the visual system at later stages of development. The binocular zone of primary visual cortex (V1b) undergoes spine loss and changes in neuronal responsiveness following the closure of one eye during a defined critical period [a process referred to as ocular dominance plasticity (ODP)]. We therefore hypothesized that ODP would be impaired in the absence of C1q, and that V1b development would also be abnormal without C1q-mediated synapse elimination. However, when we examined several features of V1b development in mice lacking C1q, we found that the densities of most spine populations on basal and proximal apical dendrites, as well as firing rates and ocular dominance, were normal. C1q was only transiently required for the development of spines on apical, but not basal, secondary dendrites. Dendritic morphologies were also unaffected. Although we did not observe the previously described spine loss during ODP in either genotype, our results reveal that the animals lacking C1q had normal shifts in neuronal responsiveness following eye closure. Experiments were performed in both male and female mice. These results suggest that the development and plasticity of the mouse V1b is grossly normal in the absence of C1q. These findings illustrate that the development and experience-dependent plasticity of V1b is mostly normal in the absence of C1q, even though C1q has previously been shown to be required for developmental synapse elimination in the mouse visual thalamus as well as sensorimotor cortex. The V1b phenotypes in mice lacking C1q are more similar to the mild defects previously observed in the hippocampus of these mice, emphasizing that the contribution of C1q to synapse elimination appears to be dependent on context. 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1011-19.2019
    Competitive inhibition of the classical complement pathway using exogenous single-chain C1q recognition proteins. The Journal of biological chemistry Complement component C1q is a protein complex of the innate immune system with well-characterized binding partners that constitutes part of the classical complement pathway. In addition, C1q was recently described in the central nervous system as having a role in synapse elimination both in the healthy brain and in neurodegenerative diseases. However, the molecular mechanism of C1q-associated synapse phagocytosis is still unclear. Here, we designed monomer and multimer protein constructs, which comprised the globular interaction recognition parts of mouse C1q (globular part of C1q [gC1q]) as single-chain molecules (sc-gC1q proteins) lacking the collagen-like effector region. These molecules, which can competitively inhibit the function of C1q, were expressed in an Escherichia coli expression system, and their structure and capabilities to bind known complement pathway activators were validated by mass spectrometry, analytical size-exclusion chromatography, analytical ultracentrifugation, CD spectroscopy, and ELISA. We further characterized the interactions between these molecules and immunoglobulins and neuronal pentraxins using surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy. We demonstrated that sc-gC1qs potently inhibited the function of C1q. Furthermore, these sc-gC1qs competed with C1q in binding to the embryonal neuronal cell membrane. We conclude that the application of sc-gC1qs can reveal neuronal localization and functions of C1q in assays in vivo and might serve as a basis for engineering inhibitors for therapeutic purposes. 10.1016/j.jbc.2022.102113
    Terminal complement pathway activation drives synaptic loss in Alzheimer's disease models. Acta neuropathologica communications Complement is involved in developmental synaptic pruning and pathological synapse loss in Alzheimer's disease. It is posited that C1 binding initiates complement activation on synapses; C3 fragments then tag them for microglial phagocytosis. However, the precise mechanisms of complement-mediated synaptic loss remain unclear, and the role of the lytic membrane attack complex (MAC) is unexplored. We here address several knowledge gaps: (i) is complement activated through to MAC at the synapse? (ii) does MAC contribute to synaptic loss? (iii) can MAC inhibition prevent synaptic loss? Novel methods were developed and optimised to quantify C1q, C3 fragments and MAC in total and regional brain homogenates and synaptoneurosomes from WT and App Alzheimer's disease model mouse brains at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months of age. The impact on synapse loss of systemic treatment with a MAC blocking antibody and gene knockout of a MAC component was assessed in Alzheimer's disease model mice. A significant increase in C1q, C3 fragments and MAC was observed in App mice compared to controls, increasing with age and severity. Administration of anti-C7 antibody to App mice modulated synapse loss, reflected by the density of dendritic spines in the vicinity of plaques. Constitutive knockout of C6 significantly reduced synapse loss in 3xTg-AD mice. We demonstrate that complement dysregulation occurs in Alzheimer's disease mice involving the activation (C1q; C3b/iC3b) and terminal (MAC) pathways in brain areas associated with pathology. Inhibition or ablation of MAC formation reduced synapse loss in two Alzheimer's disease mouse models, demonstrating that MAC formation is a driver of synapse loss. We suggest that MAC directly damages synapses, analogous to neuromuscular junction destruction in myasthenia gravis. 10.1186/s40478-022-01404-w
    Complement-associated loss of CA2 inhibitory synapses in the demyelinated hippocampus impairs memory. Ramaglia Valeria,Dubey Mohit,Malpede M Alfonso,Petersen Naomi,de Vries Sharon I,Ahmed Shanzeh M,Lee Dennis S W,Schenk Geert J,Gold Stefan M,Huitinga Inge,Gommerman Jennifer L,Geurts Jeroen J G,Kole Maarten H P Acta neuropathologica The complement system is implicated in synapse loss in the MS hippocampus, but the functional consequences of synapse loss remain poorly understood. Here, in post-mortem MS hippocampi with demyelination we find that deposits of the complement component C1q are enriched in the CA2 subfield, are linked to loss of inhibitory synapses and are significantly higher in MS patients with cognitive impairments compared to those with preserved cognitive functions. Using the cuprizone mouse model of demyelination, we corroborated that C1q deposits are highest within the demyelinated dorsal hippocampal CA2 pyramidal layer and co-localized with inhibitory synapses engulfed by microglia/macrophages. In agreement with the loss of inhibitory perisomatic synapses, we found that Schaffer collateral feedforward inhibition but not excitation was impaired in CA2 pyramidal neurons and accompanied by intrinsic changes and a reduced spike output. Finally, consistent with excitability deficits, we show that cuprizone-treated mice exhibit impaired encoding of social memories. Together, our findings identify CA2 as a critical circuit in demyelinated intrahippocampal lesions and memory dysfunctions in MS. 10.1007/s00401-021-02338-8
    Cerebral complement C1q activation in chronic Toxoplasma infection. Xiao Jianchun,Li Ye,Gressitt Kristin L,He Helen,Kannan Geetha,Schultz Tracey L,Svezhova Nadezhda,Carruthers Vern B,Pletnikov Mikhail V,Yolken Robert H,Severance Emily G Brain, behavior, and immunity Exposure to the neurotropic parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, causes significant brain and behavioral anomalies in humans and other mammals. Understanding the cellular mechanisms of T. gondii-generated brain pathologies would aid the advancement of novel strategies to reduce disease. Complement factor C1q is part of a classic immune pathway that functions peripherally to tag and remove infectious agents and cellular debris from circulation. In the developing and adult brain, C1q modifies neuronal architecture through synapse marking and pruning. T. gondii exposure and complement activation have both been implicated in the development of complex brain disorders such as schizophrenia. Thus, it seems logical that mechanistically, the physiological pathways associated with these two factors are connected. We employed a rodent model of chronic infection to investigate the extent to which cyst presence in the brain triggers activation of cerebral C1q. Compared to uninfected mice, cortical C1q was highly expressed at both the RNA and protein levels in infected animals bearing a high cyst burden. In these mice, C1q protein localized to cytoplasm, adjacent to GFAP-labeled astrocytes, near degenerating cysts, and in punctate patterns along processes. In summary, our results demonstrated an upregulation of cerebral C1q in response to latent T. gondii infection. Our data preliminarily suggest that this complement activity may aid in the clearance of this parasite from the CNS and in so doing, have consequences for the connectivity of neighboring cells and synapses. 10.1016/j.bbi.2016.04.009
    Identification of Neuronal Pentraxins as Synaptic Binding Partners of C1q and the Involvement of NP1 in Synaptic Pruning in Adult Mice. Kovács Réka Á,Vadászi Henrietta,Bulyáki Éva,Török György,Tóth Vilmos,Mátyás Dominik,Kun Judit,Hunyadi-Gulyás Éva,Fedor Flóra Zsófia,Csincsi Ádám,Medzihradszky Katalin,Homolya László,Juhász Gábor,Kékesi Katalin A,Józsi Mihály,Györffy Balázs A,Kardos József Frontiers in immunology Elements of the immune system particularly that of innate immunity, play important roles beyond their traditional tasks in host defense, including manifold roles in the nervous system. Complement-mediated synaptic pruning is essential in the developing and healthy functioning brain and becomes aberrant in neurodegenerative disorders. C1q, component of the classical complement pathway, plays a central role in tagging synapses for elimination; however, the underlying molecular mechanisms and interaction partners are mostly unknown. Neuronal pentraxins (NPs) are involved in synapse formation and plasticity, moreover, NP1 contributes to cell death and neurodegeneration under adverse conditions. Here, we investigated the potential interaction between C1q and NPs, and its role in microglial phagocytosis of synapses in adult mice. We verified that NPs interact with C1q, as well as activate the complement system. Flow cytometry, immunostaining and co-immunoprecipitation showed that synapse-bound C1q colocalizes and interacts with NPs. High-resolution confocal microscopy revealed that microglia-surrounded C1q-tagged synapses are NP1 positive. We have also observed the synaptic occurrence of C4 suggesting that activation of the classical pathway cannot be ruled out in synaptic plasticity in healthy adult animals. In summary, our results indicate that NPs play a regulatory role in the synaptic function of C1q. Whether this role can be intensified upon pathological conditions, such as in Alzheimer's disease, is to be disclosed. 10.3389/fimmu.2020.599771
    Synapse organization and modulation via C1q family proteins and their receptors in the central nervous system. Matsuda Keiko Neuroscience research Several C1q family members, related to the C1q complement component are extensively expressed in the central nervous system. Cbln1, which belongs to the Cbln subfamily of C1q proteins and released from cerebellar granule cells, plays an indispensable role in the synapse formation and function at parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapses. This is achieved by formation of a trans-synaptic tripartite complex which is composed of one unit of the Cbln1 hexamer, monomeric neurexin (NRX) containing a splice site 4 insertion at presynaptic terminals and the postsynaptic GluD2 dimers. Recently an increasing number of soluble or transmembrane proteins have been identified to bind directly to the amino-terminal domains of iGluR and regulate the recruitment and function of iGluRs at synapses. Especially at mossy fiber (MF)-CA3 synapses in the hippocampus, postsynaptic kainate-type glutamate receptors (KARs) are involved in synaptic network activity through their characteristic channel kinetics. C1ql2 and C1ql3, which belong to the C1q-like subfamily of C1q proteins, are produced by MFs and serve as extracellular organizers to recruit functional postsynaptic KAR complexes at MF-CA3 synapses via binding to the amino-terminal domains of GluK2 and GluK4 KAR subunits. In addition, C1ql2 and C1ql3 directly bind to NRX3 containing sequences encoded by exon 25b insertion at splice site 5. In the present review, we highlighted the generality of the strategy by tripartite complex formation of the specific type of NRX and iGluR via C1q family members. 10.1016/j.neures.2016.11.004
    Reversal of synapse loss in Alzheimer mouse models by targeting mGluR5 to prevent synaptic tagging by C1Q. Science translational medicine Microglia-mediated synaptic loss contributes to the development of cognitive impairments in Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the basis for this immune-mediated attack on synapses remains to be elucidated. Treatment with the metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) silent allosteric modulator (SAM), BMS-984923, prevents β-amyloid oligomer-induced aberrant synaptic signaling while preserving physiological glutamate response. Here, we show that oral BMS-984923 effectively occupies brain mGluR5 sites visualized by [F]FPEB positron emission tomography (PET) at doses shown to be safe in rodents and nonhuman primates. In aged mouse models of AD (Δ overexpressing transgenic and / double knock-in), SAM treatment fully restored synaptic density as measured by [F]SynVesT-1 PET for SV2A and by histology, and the therapeutic benefit persisted after drug washout. Phospho-TAU accumulation in double knock-in mice was also reduced by SAM treatment. Single-nuclei transcriptomics demonstrated that SAM treatment in both models normalized expression patterns to a far greater extent in neurons than glia. Last, treatment prevented synaptic localization of the complement component C1Q and synaptic engulfment in AD mice. Thus, selective modulation of mGluR5 reversed neuronal gene expression changes to protect synapses from damage by microglial mediators in rodents. 10.1126/scitranslmed.abi8593
    Classical complement cascade initiating C1q protein within neurons in the aged rhesus macaque dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Datta Dibyadeep,Leslie Shannon N,Morozov Yury M,Duque Alvaro,Rakic Pasko,van Dyck Christopher H,Nairn Angus C,Arnsten Amy F T Journal of neuroinflammation BACKGROUND:Cognitive impairment in schizophrenia, aging, and Alzheimer's disease is associated with spine and synapse loss from the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) layer III. Complement cascade signaling is critical in driving spine loss and disease pathogenesis. Complement signaling is initiated by C1q, which tags synapses for elimination. C1q is thought to be expressed predominately by microglia, but its expression in primate dlPFC has never been examined. The current study assayed C1q levels in aging primate dlPFC and rat medial PFC (mPFC) and used immunoelectron microscopy (immunoEM), immunoblotting, and co-immunoprecipitation (co-IP) to reveal the precise anatomical distribution and interactions of C1q. METHODS:Age-related changes in C1q levels in rhesus macaque dlPFC and rat mPFC were examined using immunoblotting. High-spatial resolution immunoEM was used to interrogate the subcellular localization of C1q in aged macaque layer III dlPFC and aged rat layer III mPFC. co-IP techniques quantified protein-protein interactions for C1q and proteins associated with excitatory and inhibitory synapses in macaque dlPFC. RESULTS:C1q levels were markedly increased in the aged macaque dlPFC. Ultrastructural localization found the expected C1q localization in glia, including those ensheathing synapses, but also revealed extensive localization within neurons. C1q was found near synapses, within terminals and in spines, but was also observed in dendrites, often near abnormal mitochondria. Similar analyses in aging rat mPFC corroborated the findings in rhesus macaques. C1q protein increasingly associated with PSD95 with age in macaque, consistent with its synaptic localization as evidenced by EM. CONCLUSIONS:These findings reveal novel, intra-neuronal distribution patterns for C1q in the aging primate cortex, including evidence of C1q in dendrites. They suggest that age-related changes in the dlPFC may increase C1q expression and synaptic tagging for glial phagocytosis, a possible mechanism for age-related degeneration. 10.1186/s12974-019-1683-1
    Activation of mGluR1 Mediates C1q-Dependent Microglial Phagocytosis of Glutamatergic Synapses in Alzheimer's Rodent Models. Bie Bihua,Wu Jiang,Foss Joseph F,Naguib Mohamed Molecular neurobiology Microglia and complements appear to be involved in the synaptic and cognitive deficits in Alzheimer's disease (AD), though the mechanisms remain elusive. In this study, utilizing two types of rodent model of AD, we reported increased complement C1q-mediated microglial phagocytosis of hippocampal glutamatergic synapses, which led to synaptic and cognitive deficits. We also found increased activity of the metabotropic glutamate receptor 1 (mGluR1) in hippocampal CA1 in the modeled rodents. Artificial activation of mGluR1 signaling promoted dephosphorylation of fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) and facilitated the local translation machinery of synaptic C1q mRNA, thus mimicking the C1q-mediated microglial phagocytosis of hippocampal glutamatergic synapses and synaptic and cognitive deficiency in the modeled rodents. However, suppression of mGluR1 signaling inhibited the dephosphorylation of FMRP and repressed the local translation of synaptic C1q mRNA, which consequently alleviated microglial phagocytosis of synapses and restored the synaptic and cognitive function in the rodent models. These findings illustrate a novel molecular mechanism underlying C1q-mediated microglial phagocytosis of hippocampal glutamatergic synapses in AD. 10.1007/s12035-019-1467-8
    Complement C1q-C3-associated synaptic changes in multiple sclerosis hippocampus. Michailidou Iliana,Willems Janske G P,Kooi Evert-Jan,van Eden Corbert,Gold Stefan M,Geurts Jeroen J G,Baas Frank,Huitinga Inge,Ramaglia Valeria Annals of neurology OBJECTIVE:Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a demyelinating disease of the central nervous system, leading to memory impairment in up to 65% of patients. Memory dysfunction in MS has been associated with loss of synapses in the hippocampus, but its molecular basis is unknown. Accumulating evidence suggests that components of the complement system, C1q and C3, can mediate elimination of synapses. METHODS:To investigate the involvement of complement in synaptic changes in MS, gene and protein expression and localization of C1q and C3 were analyzed in relation to neuropathological changes in myelinated and demyelinated hippocampi from postmortem MS brains. Findings were compared to hippocampi of Alzheimer disease (AD) and non-neurological controls. RESULTS:C1q expression and C3 activation were increased in myelinated and demyelinated MS hippocampi, mainly in the CA3/2 and CA1 subfields, which also showed a marked decrease in synaptic density and increased neuronal staining for the mitochondrial heat shock protein 70 (mtHSP70) stress marker. Neurons were the major source of C1q mRNA. C1q protein and activated C3 localized at synapses within human leukocyte antigen-positive cell processes and lysosomes, suggesting engulfment of complement-tagged synapses by microglia. A significant association (p < 0.0001) between the density of C1q and synaptophysin-positive synapses or mtHSP70 was seen in myelinated MS hippocampi, further pointing toward a link between the complement pathway and synaptic changes. In contrast to AD, MS hippocampi were consistently negative for the terminal complement activation complex C5b9. INTERPRETATION:These data support a role for the C1q-C3 complement axis in synaptic alterations in the MS hippocampus. 10.1002/ana.24398
    Periodontal Infection Aggravates C1q-Mediated Microglial Activation and Synapse Pruning in Alzheimer's Mice. Hao Xiaoxiao,Li Zhaofei,Li Wei,Katz Jannet,Michalek Suzanne M,Barnum Scott R,Pozzo-Miller Lucas,Saito Takashi,Saido Takaomi C,Wang Qin,Roberson Erik D,Zhang Ping Frontiers in immunology Periodontitis is a dysbiotic infectious disease that leads to the destruction of tooth supporting tissues. There is increasing evidence that periodontitis may affect the development and severity of Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the mechanism(s) by which periodontal infection impacts the neurodegenerative process in AD remains unclear. In the present study, using an amyloid precursor protein (APP) knock-in ( KI) AD mouse model, we showed that oral infection with (Pg), a keystone pathogen of periodontitis, worsened behavioral and cognitive impairment and accelerated amyloid beta (Aβ) accumulation in AD mice, thus unquestionably and significantly aggravating AD. We also provide new evidence that the neuroinflammatory status established by AD, is greatly complicated by periodontal infection and the consequential entry of Pg into the brain Aβ-primed microglial activation, and that Pg-induced brain overactivation of complement C1q is critical for periodontitis-associated acceleration of AD progression by amplifying microglial activation, neuroinflammation, and tagging synapses for microglial engulfment. Our study renders support for the importance of periodontal infection in the innate immune regulation of AD and the possibility of targeting microbial etiology and periodontal treatment to ameliorate the clinical manifestation of AD and lower AD prevalence. 10.3389/fimmu.2022.816640
    Amygdala microglia modify neuronal plasticity via complement C1q/C3-CR3 signaling and contribute to visceral pain in a rat model. Yuan Tian,Orock Albert,Greenwood-Van Meerveld Beverley American journal of physiology. Gastrointestinal and liver physiology Stress can trigger symptoms in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Previously we demonstrated that chronic psychological stress induced microglial remodeling in the central nucleus of amygdala (CeA) and contributed to the development of visceral hypersensitivity via synaptic engulfment. However, the specific signaling mechanisms that microglia depend upon to recognize target neurons to facilitate visceral pain remain unknown. Here, we test the hypothesis that the microglia in the CeA contribute to chronic stress-induced visceral hypersensitivity via complement C1q/C3-CR3 signaling-mediated synaptic remodeling. In male and female Fischer-344 rats, micropellets of corticosterone (CORT) or cholesterol (control) were stereotaxically implanted bilaterally onto the CeA. After 7 days, microglial C1q, complement receptor 3 (CR3) expression, and microglia-mediated synaptic engulfment were assessed via RNAscope, quantitative PCR, and immunofluorescence. The microglial inhibitor minocycline, CR3 antagonist neutrophil inhibitory factor (NIF), or vehicle were daily infused into the CeA following CORT implantations. Visceral sensitivity was assessed via a visceromotor response (VMR) to graded pressures of isobaric colorectal distension (CRD). Our results suggest that chronic exposure to elevated CORT in the CeA induced visceral hypersensitivity and amygdala microglial morphological remodeling. CORT increased microglial C1q and CR3 expression and increased microglia-mediated synaptic engulfment. Both groups of animals with minocycline or NIF infusions reversed microglia-mediated synaptic remodeling and attenuated CORT-induced visceral hypersensitivity. Our findings demonstrate that C1q/C3-CR3 signaling is critical for microglia-mediated synaptic remodeling in the CeA and contributes to CORT-induced visceral hypersensitivity. Patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) show altered amygdala activity. We showed previously that stress induces visceral hypersensitivity partially through microglia-modulated synaptic plasticity in the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA). Our current data suggest that the C1q/C3-CR3 cascade initiates microglia-mediated synaptic remodeling in the CeA. Blocking C3-CR3 interaction attenuates stress-induced visceral hypersensitivity. These findings uncover a role of microglia-synapse signaling in the brain-gut regulation and support a future therapeutic target to treat visceral pain. 10.1152/ajpgi.00123.2021
    C1q and SRPX2 regulate microglia mediated synapse elimination during early development in the visual thalamus but not the visual cortex. Glia The classical complement cascade mediates synapse elimination in the visual thalamus during early brain development. However, whether the primary visual cortex also undergoes complement-mediated synapse elimination during early visual system development remains unknown. Here, we examined microglia-mediated synapse elimination in the visual thalamus and the primary visual cortex of early postnatal C1q and SRPX2 knockout mice. In the lateral geniculate nucleus, deletion of C1q caused a persistent decrease in synapse elimination and microglial synapse engulfment, while deletion of SRPX2 caused a transient increase in the same readouts. In the C1q-SRPX2 double knockout mice, the C1q knockout phenotypes were dominant over the SRPX2 knockout phenotypes, a result which is consistent with SRPX2 being an inhibitor of C1q. We found that genetic deletion of either C1q or SRPX2 did not affect synapse elimination or microglial engulfment of synapses in layer 4 of the primary visual cortex in early brain development. Together, these results show that the classical complement pathway regulates microglia-mediated synapse elimination in the visual thalamus but not the visual cortex during early development of the central nervous system. 10.1002/glia.24114
    Changes in the Synaptic Proteome in Tauopathy and Rescue of Tau-Induced Synapse Loss by C1q Antibodies. Dejanovic Borislav,Huntley Melanie A,De Mazière Ann,Meilandt William J,Wu Tiffany,Srinivasan Karpagam,Jiang Zhiyu,Gandham Vineela,Friedman Brad A,Ngu Hai,Foreman Oded,Carano Richard A D,Chih Ben,Klumperman Judith,Bakalarski Corey,Hanson Jesse E,Sheng Morgan Neuron Synapse loss and Tau pathology are hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other tauopathies, but how Tau pathology causes synapse loss is unclear. We used unbiased proteomic analysis of postsynaptic densities (PSDs) in Tau-P301S transgenic mice to identify Tau-dependent alterations in synapses prior to overt neurodegeneration. Multiple proteins and pathways were altered in Tau-P301S PSDs, including depletion of a set of GTPase-regulatory proteins that leads to actin cytoskeletal defects and loss of dendritic spines. Furthermore, we found striking accumulation of complement C1q in the PSDs of Tau-P301S mice and AD patients. At synapses, C1q decorated perisynaptic membranes, accumulated in correlation with phospho-Tau, and was associated with augmented microglial engulfment of synapses and decline of synapse density. A C1q-blocking antibody inhibited microglial synapse removal in cultured neurons and in Tau-P301S mice, rescuing synapse density. Thus, inhibiting complement-mediated synapse removal by microglia could be a potential therapeutic target for Tau-associated neurodegeneration. 10.1016/j.neuron.2018.10.014
    HIV Tat causes synapse loss in a mouse model of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder that is independent of the classical complement cascade component C1q. Hammond Jennetta W,Qiu Wen Q,Marker Daniel F,Chamberlain Jeffrey M,Greaves-Tunnell Will,Bellizzi Matthew J,Lu Shao-Ming,Gelbard Harris A Glia Microglial activation, increased proinflammatory cytokine production, and a reduction in synaptic density are key pathological features associated with HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). Even with combination antiretroviral therapy (cART), more than 50% of HIV-positive individuals experience some type of cognitive impairment. Although viral replication is inhibited by cART, HIV proteins such as Tat are still produced within the nervous system that are neurotoxic, involved in synapse elimination, and provoke enduring neuroinflammation. As complement deposition on synapses followed by microglial engulfment has been shown during normal development and disease to be a mechanism for pruning synapses, we have tested whether complement is required for the loss of synapses that occurs after a cortical Tat injection mouse model of HAND. In Tat-injected animals evaluated 7 or 28 days after injection, levels of early complement pathway components, C1q and C3, are significantly elevated and associated with microgliosis and a loss of synapses. However, C1qa knockout mice have the same level of Tat-induced synapse loss as wild-type (WT) mice, showing that the C1q-initiated classical complement cascade is not driving synapse removal during HIV1 Tat-induced neuroinflammation. 10.1002/glia.23511
    Amyloid Fibril-Induced Astrocytic Glutamate Transporter Disruption Contributes to Complement C1q-Mediated Microglial Pruning of Glutamatergic Synapses. Wu Jiang,Bie Bihua,Foss Joseph F,Naguib Mohamed Molecular neurobiology The complement C1q plays a critical role in microglial phagocytosis of glutamatergic synapses and in the pathogenesis of neuroinflammation in Alzheimer's disease (AD). We recently reported that upregulation of metabotropic glutamate receptor signaling is associated with increased synaptic C1q production and subsequent microglial phagocytosis of synapses in the rodent models of AD. Here, we explored the role of astrocytic glutamate transporter in the synaptic C1q production and microglial phagocytosis of hippocampal glutamatergic synapses in a rat model of AD. Activation of astrocyte and reduction glutamate transporter 1 (GLT1) were noted after bilateral microinjection of amyloid-beta (Aβ) fibrils into the hippocampal CA1 area of rats. Ceftriaxone is a β-lactam antibiotic that upregulates GLT1 expression. Bilateral microinjection of ceftriaxone recovered GLT1 expression, decreased synaptic C1q production, suppressed microglial phagocytosis of glutamatergic synapses in the hippocampal CA1, and attenuated synaptic and cognitive deficits in rats microinjected with Aβ. In contrast, artificial suppression of GLT1 activity by DL-threo-beta-benzyloxyaspartate (DL-TBOA) in naïve rats induced synaptic C1q expression and microglial phagocytosis of glutamatergic synapses in the hippocampal CA1 area, resulting in synaptic and cognitive dysfunction. These findings demonstrated that impairment of astrocytic glutamate transporter plays a role in the pathogenesis of AD. 10.1007/s12035-020-01885-7