Background: Astrocytes, which comprise ~90% of overall brain mass, are involved in brain immunity. These cells represent the non-professional class of CNS-resident APCs and may promote or inhibit CNS inflammation depending on the cytokines they secrete. IL-10 family of cytokines and their receptors, IL-20R1 and IL-20R2, may have a role in shifting astrocytes to a neuroprotective or neurodegenerative function.
Objective: To address the expression of IL-20R1 and IL-20R2 cytokine receptors in astrocytes and brain cortex of C57BL/6 mice.
Methods: We investigated the expression of IL-20R1 and IL-20R2 in C57BL/6 mice astroglial cells and brain cortex in response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS), using reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RTPCR) method.
Results: Astrocytes were able to express IL-20R1 and IL-20R2 mRNA not only in response to LPS stimulation but also in the absence of LPS. Furthermore, we found the expression of IL-20R1 and IL-20R2 mRNA in the cortex of adult C57BL/6 mice.
Conclusions: IL-20R1 and IL-20R2 are constitutively expressed in the brain. Since most neuropathological processes involve astrocytes and inflammatory cytokines, these findings have important implications for future therapeutic strategies.