Microglia protect against brain injury and their selective elimination dysregulates neuronal network activity after stroke

Gergely Szalay, Bernadett Martinecz, Nikolett Lenart, Zsuzsanna Kornyei, Barbara Orsolits, Linda Judak, Eszter Csaszar, Rebeka Fekete, Brian L. West, Gergely Katona, Balazs Rozsa & Adam Denes

Nature Communications 2016

Szalay et al, NatCommun (2016)

A precisely controlled model of brain injury induced by cerebral ischemia was developed combined with fast in vivo two-photon calcium imaging and selective microglial manipulation revealing the influence of microglia on neuronal activity and survival in the injured brain. According to the model, selective elimination of microglia leads to a striking, 60% increase in infarct size, which is reversed by microglial repopulation. Microglia-mediated protection includes reduction of excitotoxic injury, since an absence of microglia leads to dysregulated neuronal calcium responses, calcium overload and increased neuronal death. Furthermore, the incidence of spreading depolarization (SD) is markedly reduced in the absence of microglia. Thus, microglia are involved in changes in neuronal network activity and SD after brain injury in vivo that could have important implications for common brain diseases. All two-photon experiments were performed on a Femto2D-Dual microscope.

Read the full article