O-Vanillin attenuates the TLR2 mediated tumor-promoting phenotype of microglia


  • P. Triller
  • J. Bachorz
  • M. Synowitz
  • H. Kettenmann
  • D. Markovic


  • International Journal of Molecular Sciences


  • Int J Mol Sci 21 (8): 2959


  • Malignant gliomas are primary brain tumors with poor prognoses. These tumors are infiltrated by brain intrinsic microglia and peripheral monocytes which promote glioma cell invasion. In our previous studies, we discovered that the activation of Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) on microglia/brain macrophages converts them into a protumorigenic phenotype through the induction of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) 9 and 14. In the present study, we used in vitro and in situ microglia-glioma interaction experimental models to test the impact of a novel inhibitor of TLR 2, ortho vanillin (O-Vanillin) to block TLR2 mediated microglia protumorigenic phenotype. We demonstrate that O-Vanillin inhibits the TLR2 mediated upregulation of MMP 9, MMP 14, IL 6 and iNOS expression. Similarly, the glioma supernatant induced MMP 9 and MMP 14 expression in murine and human microglia is abrogated by O-Vanillin treatment. O-Vanillin is not toxic for microglia, astrocytes or oligodendrocytes. Glioma growth in murine brain slice cultures is significantly reduced after treatment with O-Vanillin, and this reduced glioma growth depends on the presence of microglia. In addition, we also found that O-Vanillin inhibited the glioma induced proliferation of murine primary microglia. In summary, O-Vanillin attenuates the pro-tumorigenic phenotype of microglia/brain macrophages and thus qualifies as a candidate for glioma therapy.