Reactive astrogliosis is a critical process in neuropathological conditions and neurotrauma. Although it has been suggested that it confers neuroprotective effects, the exact genomic mechanism has not been explored. The prevailing dogma of the role of astrogliosis in inhibition of axonal regeneration has been challenged by recent findings in rodent model's spinal cord injury, demonstrating its neuroprotection and axonal regeneration properties. We examined whether their neuroprotective and axonal regeneration potentials can be identify in human spinal cord reactive astrocytes in vitro. Here, reactive astrogliosis was induced with IL1β. Within 24 hours of IL1β induction, astrocytes acquired reactive characteristics. Transcriptome analysis of over 40000 transcripts of genes and analysis with PFSnet subnetwork revealed upregulation of chemokines and axonal permissive factors including FGF2, BDNF, and NGF. In addition, most genes regulating axonal inhibitory molecules, including ROBO1 and ROBO2 were downregulated. There was no increase in the gene expression of "Chondroitin Sulfate Proteoglycans" (CSPGs') clusters. This suggests that reactive astrocytes may not be the main CSPG contributory factor in glial scar. PFSnet analysis also indicated an upregulation of "Axonal Guidance Signaling" pathway. Our result suggests that human spinal cord reactive astrocytes is potentially neuroprotective at an early onset of reactive astrogliosis.
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