G protein-coupled receptor 84 (GPR84) is a recently discovered member of the seven transmembrane receptor superfamily whose function and regulation are unknown. Here, we report that in mice suffering from endotoxemia, microglia express GPR84 in a strong and sustained manner. This property is shared by subpopulations of peripheral macrophages and, to a much lesser extent, monocytes. The induction of GPR84 expression by endotoxin is mediated, at least in part, by proinflammatory cytokines, notably tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukin-1 (IL-1), because mice lacking either one or both of these molecules have fewer GPR84-expressing cells in their cerebral cortex than wild-type mice during the early phase of endotoxemia. Moreover, when injected intracerebrally or added to microglial cultures, recombinant TNF stimulates GPR84 expression through a dexamethasone-insensitive mechanism. Finally, we show that microglia produce GPR84 not only during endotoxemia, but also during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a model of multiple sclerosis. In conclusion, this study reports the identification of a new sensitive marker of microglial activation, which may play an important regulatory role in neuroimmunological processes, acting downstream to the effects of proinflammatory mediators.

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