, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 573-580

The microglial cytoskeleton: vimentin is localized within activated cellsin situ

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Unlike astrocytes and oligodendrocytes, microglia are extremely plastic making them the chameleon among the glial cells in the CNS. This great mutability of the microglial cell shape suggests the presence of an elaborate cytoskeleton which is demonstrated here by applying a new ultrastructural method. Electron microscopic immunocytochemistry shows the presence of vimentin at intermediate filament sites in reactive microglia stimulated by rat facial nerve axotomy. It is suggested that vimentin-expression may serve as a marker for activated states of microglia, including brain macrophages.