Cells (Jan 2021)

Nogo-A Is Critical for Pro-Inflammatory Gene Regulation in Myocytes and Macrophages

  • H. M. Arif Ullah,
  • A. K. Elfadl,
  • SunYoung Park,
  • Yong Deuk Kim,
  • Myung-Jin Chung,
  • Ji-Yoon Son,
  • Hyun-Ho Yun,
  • Jae-Min Park,
  • Jae-Hyuk Yim,
  • Seung-Jun Jung,
  • Young-Chul Choi,
  • Jin-Hong Shin,
  • Dae-Seong Kim,
  • Jin-Kyu Park,
  • Kyu-Shik Jeong

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 10, no. 2
p. 282


Read online

Nogo-A (Rtn 4A), a member of the reticulon 4 (Rtn4) protein family, is a neurite outgrowth inhibitor protein that is primarily expressed in the central nervous system (CNS). However, previous studies revealed that Nogo-A was upregulated in skeletal muscles of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients. Additionally, experiments showed that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress marker, C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP), was upregulated in gastrocnemius muscle of a murine model of ALS. We therefore hypothesized that Nogo-A might relate to skeletal muscle diseases. According to our knocking down and overexpression results in muscle cell line (C2C12), we have found that upregulation of Nogo-A resulted in upregulation of CHOP, pro-inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-6 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, while downregulation of Nogo-A led to downregulation of CHOP, IL-6 and TNF-α. Immunofluorescence results showed that Nogo-A and CHOP were expressed by myofibers as well as tissue macrophages. Since resident macrophages share similar functions as bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDM), we therefore, isolated macrophages from bone marrow to study the role of Nogo-A in activation of these cells. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated BMDM in Nogo-KO mice showed low mRNA expression of CHOP, IL-6 and TNF-α compared to BMDM in wild type (WT) mice. Interestingly, Nogo knockout (KO) BMDM exhibited lower migratory activity and phagocytic ability compared with WT BMDM after LPS treatment. In addition, mice experiments data revealed that upregulation of Nogo-A in notexin- and tunicamycin-treated muscles was associated with upregulation of CHOP, IL-6 and TNF-α in WT group, while in Nogo-KO group resulted in low expression level of CHOP, IL-6 and TNF-α. Furthermore, upregulation of Nogo-A in dystrophin-deficient (mdx) murine model, myopathy and Duchenne muscle dystrophy (DMD) clinical biopsies was associated with upregulation of CHOP, IL-6 and TNF-α. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate Nogo-A as a regulator of inflammation in diseased muscle and bone marrow macrophages and that deletion of Nogo-A alleviates muscle inflammation and it can be utilized as a therapeutic target for improving muscle diseases.