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Papers of the Week

Papers: 10 Aug 2019 - 16 Aug 2019

Animal Studies

2019 Oct 01

Biochem Biophys Res Commun



TMEM16F inhibition limits pain-associated behavior and improves motor function by promoting microglia M2 polarization in mice.


Spinal cord injury (SCI) leads to sensorimotor deficits and autonomic changes. Macrophages and microglia could be polarized into the classically activated pro-inflammatory M1 phenotype or the alternatively activated anti-inflammatory M2 phenotype. Transmembrane protein with unknown function 16F (TMEM16F) exhibits functional diversity and may contribute to microglial function. However, the effects of TMEM16F on the modulation of macrophage/microglial polarization are still not fully understood. In the study, TMEM16F up-regulation was detected after SCI in mice, and TMEM16F protein was found in macrophages/microglia in injured spinal cord sections. Depletion of TMEM16F improved motor function in male mice with SCI. M1-type macrophages/microglia accumulated in lower numbers in the injured spinal cord of TMEM16F-knockout (KO) mice. M2 polarization inhibited by SCI was improved in mice with TMEM16F deficiency. TMEM16F deletion also attenuated microglial/macrophage pro-inflammatory response. Furthermore, significant down-regulation of A disintegrin and metalloprotease 17 (ADAM17) was observed in TMEM16F-KO mice. Importantly, TMEM16F-promoted M1 polarization and -inhibited M1 polarization were largely associated with the suppression of ADAM17. Overall, our findings provided new insights into the regulatory mechanisms of macrophage/microglial polarization, thereby possibly facilitating the development of new therapeutic strategies for SCI through the regulation of TMEM16F/ADAM17 signaling.