Oxidative stress and inflammatory cytokines affect the human brain, increasing the risk for mood and cognitive disorders. Such risk might be selective to brain-specific regions. Here, we determined whether BXD recombinant inbred (RI) mice strains are more suitable than C57BL/6J mice for the understanding of the relationship between antioxidant response and inflammatory responses. We hypothesized that inflammatory responses could be independent of antioxidant response and be inherent to brain-specific regions. This hypothesis will be addressed by the analyses of mRNA expression. We explored, at 7-months-of-age, the innate activation of proinflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) and interleukin 6 (IL-6), as well as Kelch-like ECH-associating protein 1 (Keap1), nuclear factor erythroid 2 related factor 2 (Nrf2) and glutathione peroxidase 1 (Gpx1) mRNA in both male and female BXD84/RwwJ RI, BXD21/TyJ RI and control strain (C57BL/6J mice). We report that: (1) The cerebellum is more sensitive to antioxidant response in the BXD21/TyJ RI strain; (2) The cerebellum, hippocampus and striatum show increased levels of cytokines in the BXD21/TyJ RI strain; (3) The BXD RI strain has lower brain weight relative to control strain (C57BL/6 mice). In conclusion, our novel data show the utility of the BXD21/TyJ RI strain mice in offering mechanistic insight into Nrf2’s role in the inflammatory system.
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