TWEAKing the Hippocampus: The Effects of TWEAK on the Genomic Fabric of the Hippocampus in a Neuropsychiatric Lupus Mouse Model

Iacobas DA, Wen J, Iacobas S, Putterman C, Schwartz N. 2021. Genes


Neuropsychiatric manifestations of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), specifically cognitive dysfunction and mood disorders, are widely prevalent in SLE patients, and yet poorly understood. TNF-like weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK) has previously been implicated in the pathogenesis of neuropsychiatric lupus (NPSLE), and we have recently shown its effects on the transcriptome of the cortex of the lupus-prone mice model MRL/lpr. As the hippocampus is thought to be an important focus of NPSLE processes, we explored the TWEAK-induced transcriptional changes that occur in the hippocampus, and isolated several genes (Dnajc28, Syne2, transthyretin) and pathways (PI3K-AKT, as well as chemokine-signaling and neurotransmission pathways) that are most differentially affected by TWEAK activation. While the functional roles of these genes and pathways within NPSLE need to be further investigated, an interesting link between neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration appears to emerge, which may prove to be a promising novel direction in NPSLE research.