Up-Regulation of Trem2 Inhibits Hippocampal Neuronal Apoptosis and Alleviates Oxidative Stress in Epilepsy via the PI3K/Akt Pathway in Mice

  • Ai-Hua Liu
  • Min Chu
  • Yu-Ping WangEmail author
Original Article


Epilepsy is a chronic and severe neurological disorder that has negative effects on the autonomous activities of patients. Functionally, Trem2 (triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells-2) is an immunoglobulin receptor that affects neurological and psychiatric genetic diseases. Based on this rationale, we aimed to assess the potential role of Trem2 integration with the PI3K/Akt pathway in epilepsy. We used microarray-based gene expression profiling to identify epilepsy-related differentially-expressed genes. In a mouse hippocampal neuron model of epilepsy, neurons were treated with low-Mg2+ extracellular fluid, and the protein and mRNA expression of Trem2 were determined. Using a gain-of-function approach with Trem2, neuronal apoptosis and its related factors were assessed by flow cytometry, RT-qPCR, and Western blot analysis. In a pilocarpine-induced epileptic mouse model, the malondialdehyde (MDA) and 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) content and superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione-peroxidase (GSH-Px) activity in the hippocampus were determined, and the protein expression of Trem2 was measured. In addition, the regulatory effect of Trem2 on the PI3K/Akt pathway was analyzed by inhibiting this pathway in both the cell and mouse models of epilepsy. Trem2 was found to occupy a core position and was correlated with epilepsy. Trem2 was decreased in the hippocampus of epileptic mice and epileptic hippocampal neurons. Of crucial importance, overexpression of Trem2 activated the PI3K/Akt pathway to inhibit neuronal apoptosis. Moreover, activation of the PI3K/Akt pathway through over-expression of Trem2 alleviated oxidative stress, as shown by the increased expression of SOD and GSH-Px and the decreased expression of MDA and 8-OHdG. The current study defines the potential role of Trem2 in inhibiting the development of epilepsy, indicating that Trem2 up-regulation alleviates hippocampal neuronal injury and oxidative stress, and inhibits neuronal apoptosis in epilepsy by activating the PI3K/Akt pathway.


Trem2 Epilepsy Neuronal apoptosis PI3K/Akt pathway Oxidative stress 



We sincerely appreciate the reviewers’ critical comments on this article. This work was supported by Beijing Key Laboratory of Neuromodulation (BZ0098), the Precision Medicine Project of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (2016YFC0904400).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest in this study.

Supplementary material

12264_2018_324_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (51 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 51 kb)


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Copyright information

© Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, CAS 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neurology, Xuanwu HospitalCapital Medical UniversityBeijingChina

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