The role of the immunoproteasome in interferon-γ-mediated microglial activation

Kasey E. Moritz, Nikki M. McCormack, Mahlet B. Abera, Coralie Viollet, Young J. Yauger, Gauthaman Sukumar, Clifton L. Dalgard, Barrington G. Burnett*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Microglia regulate the brain microenvironment by sensing damage and neutralizing potentially harmful insults. Disruption of central nervous system (CNS) homeostasis results in transition of microglia to a reactive state characterized by morphological changes and production of cytokines to prevent further damage to CNS tissue. Immunoproteasome levels are elevated in activated microglia in models of stroke, infection and traumatic brain injury, though the exact role of the immunoproteasome in neuropathology remains poorly defined. Using gene expression analysis and native gel electrophoresis we characterize the expression and assembly of the immunoproteasome in microglia following interferon-gamma exposure. Transcriptome analysis suggests that the immunoproteasome regulates multiple features of microglial activation including nitric oxide production and phagocytosis. We show that inhibiting the immunoproteasome attenuates expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and suppresses interferon-gamma-dependent priming of microglia. These results imply that targeting immunoproteasome function following CNS injury may attenuate select microglial activity to improve the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative conditions or the progress of inflammation-mediated secondary injury following neurotrauma.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9365
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes


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