Astrocytes are important modulators of the immune and inflammatory reactions in the central nervous system. We have recently demonstrated the role of interferon-induced transmembrane protein 3 (IFITM3) in long-lasting neuronal impairments in mice following neonatal immune challenge by injections of the double-stranded RNA analog polyriboinosinic polyribocytidylic acid. Here, we show that IFITM3 is induced after lipopolysaccharide (LPS) treatment in cultured astrocytes. The induction of IFITM3 by LPS was completely suppressed by the addition of anti-interferon-β (IFN-β) antibody. In addition, neutralization of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) with its antibody partially inhibited the induction of IFITM3, suggesting that LPS induces IFITM3 through autocrine secretion of IFN-β and TNF-α. Furthermore, experiments using pharmacological inhibitors suggest that LPS induces IFITM3 through activation of TANK-binding kinase 1, p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase, and nuclear factor-κB pathways. Together, these findings may provide new insight into the role of IFITM3 in the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental diseases associated with immune activation.
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