TLR9 bone marrow chimeric mice define a role for cerebral TNF in neuroprotection induced by CpG preconditioning

Amy E.B. Packard, Philberta Y. Leung, Keri B. Vartanian, Susan L. Stevens, Frances R. Bahjat, Mary P. Stenzel-Poore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Systemic preconditioning with the TLR9 ligand CpG induces neuroprotection against brain ischemic injury through a tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-dependent mechanism. It is unclear how systemic administration of CpG engages the brain to induce the protective phenotype. To address this, we created TLR9-deficient reciprocal bone marrow chimeric mice lacking TLR9 on either hematopoietic cells or radiation-resistant cells of nonhematopoietic origin. We report that wild-type mice reconstituted with TLR9-deficient hematopoietic cells failed to show neuroprotection after systemic CpG preconditioning. Further, while hematopoietic expression of TLR9 is required for CpG-induced neuroprotection it is not sufficient to restore protection to TLR9-deficient mice that are reconstituted with hematopoietic cells bearing TLR9. To determine whether the absence of protection was associated with TNF, we examined TNF levels in the systemic circulation and the brain. We found that although TNF is required for CpG preconditioning, systemic TNF levels did not correlate with the protective phenotype. However, induction of cerebral TNF mRNA required expression of TLR9 on both hematopoietic and nonhematopoietic cells and correlated with neuroprotection. In accordance with these results, we show the therapeutic potential of intranasal CpG preconditioning, which induces brain TNF mRNA and robust neuroprotection with no concomitant increase in systemic levels of TNF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2193-2200
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • acute stroke
  • brain ischemia
  • focal ischemia
  • ischemic preconditioning and induced neuroprotection
  • neuroprotection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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