Systemic inhibition of tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase alters the brain-immune axis in experimental sepsis

Allison L. Brichacek, Stanley A. Benkovic, Sreeparna Chakraborty, Divine C. Nwafor, Wei Wang, Sujung Jun, Duaa Dakhlallah, Werner J. Geldenhuys, Anthony B. Pinkerton, José Luis Millán, Candice M. Brown

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4 Scopus citations


Tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase (TNAP) is a ubiquitous enzyme present in many cells and tissues, including the central nervous system. Yet its functions at the brain-immune axis remain unclear. The goal of this study was to use a novel small molecular inhibitor of TNAP, SBI-425, to interrogate the function of TNAP in neuroimmune disorders. Following intraperitoneal (IP) administration of SBI-425, mass spectrometry analysis revealed that the SBI-425 does not cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in healthy mice. To elucidate the role of TNAP at the brain-immune axis, mice were subjected to experimental sepsis and received either vehicle or SBI-425 (25 mg/kg, IP) daily for 7 days. While SBI-425 administration did not affect clinical severity outcomes, we found that SBI-425 administration suppressed CD4 + Foxp3+ CD25− and CD8 + Foxp3+ CD25− splenocyte T-cell populations compared to controls. Further evaluation of SBI-425’s effects in the brain revealed that TNAP activity was suppressed in the brain parenchyma of SBI-425-treated mice compared to controls. When primary brain endothelial cells were treated with a proinflammatory stimulus the addition of SBI-425 treatment potentiated the loss of barrier function in BBB endothelial cells. To further demonstrate a protective role for TNAP at endothelial barriers within this axis, transgenic mice with a conditional overexpression of TNAP were subjected to experimental sepsis and found to have increased survival and decreased clinical severity scores compared to controls. Taken together, these results demonstrate a novel role for TNAP activity in shaping the dynamic interactions within the brain-immune axis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number18788
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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