Systemic inflammation is associated with alterations in complex brain functions such as learning and memory. However, diagnostic approaches to functionally assess and quantify inflammation-associated alterations in synaptic plasticity are not well-established. In previous work, we demonstrated that bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced systemic inflammation alters the ability of hippocampal neurons to express synaptic plasticity, i.e., the long-term potentiation (LTP) of excitatory neurotransmission. Here, we tested whether synaptic plasticity induced by repetitive magnetic stimulation (rMS), a non-invasive brain stimulation technique used in clinical practice, is affected by LPS-induced inflammation. Specifically, we explored brain tissue cultures to learn more about the direct effects of LPS on neural tissue, and we tested for the plasticity-restoring effects of the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin 10 (IL10). As shown previously, 10 Hz repetitive magnetic stimulation (rMS) of organotypic entorhino-hippocampal tissue cultures induced a robust increase in excitatory neurotransmission onto CA1 pyramidal neurons. Furthermore, LPS-treated tissue cultures did not express rMS-induced synaptic plasticity. Live-cell microscopy in tissue cultures prepared from a novel transgenic reporter mouse line [C57BL/6-Tg(TNFa-eGFP)] confirms that ex vivo LPS administration triggers microglial tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) expression, which is ameliorated in the presence of IL10. Consistent with this observation, IL10 hampers the LPS-induced increase in TNFα, IL6, IL1β, and IFNγ and restores the ability of neurons to express rMS-induced synaptic plasticity in the presence of LPS. These findings establish organotypic tissue cultures as a suitable model for studying inflammation-induced alterations in synaptic plasticity, thus providing a biological basis for the diagnostic use of transcranial magnetic stimulation in the context of brain inflammation.
- interleukin 10
- non-invasive brain stimulation
- synaptic plasticity
- TNFα-reporter mouse
- transcranial magnetic stimulation