Modelling the inflammatory response of traumatic brain injury using human induced pluripotent stem cell derived microglia


The neuroinflammatory response after traumatic brain injury (TBI) is implicated as a key mediator of secondary injury in both the acute and chronic periods after primary injury. Microglia are the key innate immune cell in the central nervous system, responding to injury with the release of cytokines and chemokines. In this context, we aimed to characterise the downstream cytokine response of human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived microglia when stimulated with five separate cytokines identified following human TBI. iPSC-derived microglia were exposed to IL-1β, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10 and TNF in the concentration ranges identified in clinical TBI studies. The downstream cytokine response was measured against a panel of 37 separate cytokines over a 72-hour time-course. The secretome revealed concentration-, time- and combined concentration and time-dependent downstream responses. TNF appeared to be the strongest inducer of downstream cytokine changes (51), followed by IL-1β (26) and IL-4 (19). IL-10 (11) and IL-6 (10) produced fewer responses. We also compare these responses to our previous studies of iPSC-derived neuronal and astrocyte cultures and the in-vivo human TBI cytokine response. Notably, we found microglial culture to induce both a wider range of downstream cytokine responses and a greater fold change in concentration for those downstream responses, as compared to astrocyte and neuronal cultures. In summary, we present a dataset for human microglial cytokine responses specific to the secretome found in the clinical context of TBI. This reductionist approach complements our previous datasets for astrocyte and neuronal responses and will provide a platform to enable future studies to unravel the complex neuroinflammatory network activated after TBI.

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