Regulation of neuroinflammation in human astrocytes
Apolipoprotein E4 (APOEε4) is the major allelic risk factor for late-onset sporadic Alzheimer’s disease (sAD). Inflammation is increasingly considered as critical in sAD initiation and progression. Identifying brain molecular mechanisms that could bridge these two risk factors remain unelucidated. Leveraging induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-based strategies, we demonstrate that APOE controls inflammation in human astrocytes by regulating Transgelin 3 (TAGLN3) expression and, ultimately, nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) activation. We uncover that APOE4 specifically downregulates TAGLN3, involving histone deacetylases activity, which results in low-grade chronic inflammation and hyperactivated inflammatory responses. We show that APOE4 exerts a dominant negative effect to prime astrocytes toward a pro-inflammatory state that is pharmacologically reversible by TAGLN3 supplementation. We further confirm that TAGLN3 is downregulated in the brain of patients with sAD. Our findings highlight the APOE-TAGLN3-NF-κB axis regulating neuroinflammation in human astrocytes and reveal TAGLN3 as a molecular target to modulate neuroinflammation, as well as a potential biomarker for AD.