1.EBI2 regulates pro-inflammatory signalling and cytokine release in astrocytes.
Rutkowska A;Shimshek DR;Sailer AW;Dev KK Neuropharmacology. 2018 May 1;133:121-128. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2018.01.029. Epub 2018 Jan 31.
The endogenous oxysterol 7α, 25-dihydroxycholesterol (7α25HC) ligand activates the G protein-coupled receptor EBI2 to regulate T cell-dependant antibody response and B cell migration. We have demonstrated that EBI2 is expressed in human and mouse astrocytes, that 7α25HC induces intracellular signalling and astrocyte migration, and that EBI2 plays a role in the crosstalk between astrocytes and macrophages. Recently, we demonstrate that EBI2 regulates myelin development and inhibits LPC-induced demyelination. Here, we show that 7α25HC inhibits LPS- and IL17/TNF-induced pro-inflammatory cytokine release in astrocytes. We observe the following: 1. Human astrocytes treated with IL17/TNF increases the nuclear translocation of NFκB, which is attenuated by pre-treatment with 7α25HC; 2. IL17/TNF increases cell impedance in human astrocytes, which is also attenuated by pre-treatment with 7α25HC; 3. The EBI2 antagonist NIBR189 inhibits these effects of 7α25HC, supporting the role of EBI2; 4. in vivo data corroborate these in vitro findings, showing that EBI2 knock-out (KO) animals display enhanced pro-inflammatory cytokine in response to LPS challenge, in the brain. These results demonstrate a role for oxysterol/EBI2 signalling in attenuating the response of astrocytes to pro-inflammatory signals as well as limiting the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the brain.
2.Identification and characterization of small molecule modulators of the Epstein-Barr virus-induced gene 2 (EBI2) receptor.
Gessier F;Preuss I;Yin H;Rosenkilde MM;Laurent S;Endres R;Chen YA;Marsilje TH;Seuwen K;Nguyen DG;Sailer AW J Med Chem. 2014 Apr 24;57(8):3358-68. doi: 10.1021/jm4019355. Epub 2014 Apr 15.
Oxysterols have recently been identified as natural ligands for a G protein-coupled receptor called EBI2 (aka GPR183) ( Nature 2011 , 475 , 524 ; 519 ). EBI2 is highly expressed in immune cells ( J. Biol. Chem. 2006 , 281 , 13199 ), and its activation has been shown to be critical for the adaptive immune response and has been genetically linked to autoimmune diseases such as type I diabetes ( Nature 2010 , 467 , 460 ). Here we describe the isolation of a potent small molecule antagonist for the EBI2 receptor. First, we identified a small molecule agonist NIBR51 (1), which enabled identification of inhibitors of receptor activation. One antagonist called NIBR127 (2) was used as a starting point for a medicinal chemistry campaign, which yielded NIBR189 (4m). This compound was extensively characterized in binding and various functional signaling assays. Furthermore, we have used 4m to block migration of a monocyte cell line called U937, suggesting a functional role of the oxysterol/EBI2 pathway in these immune cells.
3.The EBI2 signalling pathway plays a role in cellular crosstalk between astrocytes and macrophages.
Rutkowska A;O'Sullivan SA;Christen I;Zhang J;Sailer AW;Dev KK Sci Rep. 2016 May 11;6:25520. doi: 10.1038/srep25520.
EBI2 is a G protein-coupled receptor activated by oxysterol 7α, 25-dihydroxycholesterol (7α25HC) and regulates T cell-dependant antibody response and B cell migration. We recently found EBI2 is expressed in human astrocytes, regulates intracellular signalling and modulates astrocyte migration. Here, we report that LPS treatment of mouse astrocytes alters mRNA levels of EBI2 and oxysterols suggesting that the EBI2 signalling pathway is sensitive to LPS-mediated immune challenge. We also find that conditioned media obtained from LPS-stimulated mouse astrocytes induces macrophage migration, which is inhibited by the EBI2 antagonist NIBR189. These results demonstrate a role for the EBI2 signalling pathway in astrocytes as a sensor for immune challenge and for communication with innate immune cells such as macrophages.