TPM1 mediates inflammation downstream of TREM2 via the PKA/CREB signaling pathway

Rong Li, Jing Zhang, Qiong Wang, Meng Cheng, Bin Lin

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Microglia, the innate immune cells in the central nervous system, play an essential role in brain homeostasis, neuroinflammation and brain infections. Dysregulated microglia, on the other hand, are associated with neurodegenerative diseases, yet the mechanisms underlying pro-inflammatory gene expression in microglia are incompletely understood.

We investigated the role of the actin-associated protein tropomyosin 1 (TPM1) in regulating pro-inflammatory phenotype of microglia in the retina by using a combination of cell culture, immunocytochemistry, Western blot, qPCR, TUNEL, RNA sequencing and electroretinogram analysis. TREM2−/− mice were used to investigate whether TPM1 regulated pro-inflammatory responses downstream of TREM2. To conditionally deplete microglia, we backcrossed CX3CR1CreER mice with Rosa26iDTR mice to generate CX3CR1CreER:Rosa26iDTR mice.

We revealed a vital role for TPM1 in regulating pro-inflammatory phenotype of microglia. We found that TPM1 drove LPS-induced inflammation and neuronal death in the retina via the PKA/CREB pathway. TPM1 knockdown ameliorated LPS-induced inflammation in WT retinas yet exaggerated the inflammation in TREM2−/− retinas. RNA sequencing revealed that genes associated with M1 microglia and A1 astrocytes were significantly downregulated in LPS-treated WT retinas but upregulated in LPS-treated TREM2−/− retinas after TPM1 knockdown. Mechanistically, we demonstrated that CREB activated by TPM1 knockdown mediated anti-inflammatory genes in LPS-treated WT retinas but pro-inflammatory genes in LPS-treated TREM2−/− retinas, suggesting a novel role for TREM2 as a brake on TPM1-mediated inflammation. Furthermore, we identified that TPM1 regulated inflammation downstream of TREM2 and in a microglia-dependent manner.

We demonstrate that TPM1 mediates inflammation downstream of TREM2 via the PKA/CREB signaling pathway. Our findings suggest that TPM1 could be a potential target for therapeutic intervention in brain diseases.
Original languageEnglish
Article number257
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Neuroinflammation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Retina
  • Tropomyosin 1
  • Inflammation
  • TREM2
  • CREB


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