Reactive astrogliosis is a cellular manifestation of neuroinflammation and occurs in response to all forms and severities of the central nervous system (CNS)’s injury and disease. Both astroglial proliferation and antiapoptotic processes are aspects of astrogliosis. However, the underlying mechanism of this response remains poorly understood. In addition, little is known about why activated astrocytes are more resistant to stress and inflammation. CCAAT/enhancer binding protein delta (CEBPD) is a transcription factor found in activated astrocytes that surround β-amyloid plaques. In this study, we found that astrocytes activation was attenuated in the cortex and hippocampus of APPswe/PS1 E9 (AppTg)/Cebpd−/−mice. Furthermore, an increase in apoptotic astrocytes was observed in AppTg/Cebpd−/−mice, suggesting that CEBPD plays a functional role in enhancing the antiapoptotic ability of astrocytes. We found that Zinc Finger Protein 179 (ZNF179) was a CEBPD-regulated gene that played an antiapoptotic, but not proliferative, role in astrocytes. The transcriptions of the proapoptotic genes, insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3 (IGFBP3) and BCL2-interacting killer (BIK), were suppressed by ZNF179 via its interaction with the promyelocytic leukemia zinc finger (PLZF) protein in astrocytes. This study provides the first evidence that ZNF179, PLZF, IGFBP3, and BIK contributed to the novel CEBPD-induced antiapoptotic feature of astrocytes.
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