Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 216, Issue 3, pp 569–580 | Cite as

Morphological studies on neuroglia

II. Response of glial cells to kainic acid-induced lesions
  • Y. Murabe
  • Y. Ibata
  • Y. Sano


The cellular response of non-neuronal elements of the pyramidal cell layer of the rat hippocampus, especially the area CA 3, was observed electron microscopically following destruction of this formation by means of intraventricular administration of kainic acid (KA).

The neuroglial cell types responding to the KA-induced lesion included astrocytes and the “microglia-like reactive cells”. In addition, numerous brain macrophages appeared in the damaged area CA 3. Oligodendrocytes and pericytes revealed no morphological changes.

Swollen astrocytes were seen in the KA-induced lesion during the early stage. Glial filaments gradually developed in the soma and cell processes of these cells. Brain macrophages were seen in the KA-induced lesion during the early stage; they gradually decreased in number with time. Numerous small cells displaying a dark nucleus appeared in the damaged area CA 3 during the first two days after the KA-administration, and gradually increased in number. During the later stage this cell type could hardly be distinguished from the intrinsic microglial cells. It is open to discussion whether this cell type originates from the intrinsic microglial cells or from the hematogenic monocytes; therefore it is designated as “microglia-like reactive cell” in the present study.

Key words

Glial response Chemical lesion Kainic acid Hippocampus Rat 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Barka T, Anderson PJ (1963) Histochemistry, theory, practice and bibliography. Harper and Tow Paul Inc, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  2. Cammermeyer J (1970) The life history of the microglia. A light microscopic study. Neurosci Res 3:43–129Google Scholar
  3. Carr I (1973) The macrophages. A review of ultrastructure and function. Academic Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  4. Cavanagh JB (1970) The proliferation of astrocytes around a needle wound in the rat brain. J Anat 106:471–487Google Scholar
  5. Colonnier M (1964) Experimental degeneration in the cerebral cortex. J Anat 98:47–53Google Scholar
  6. Coyle JT, Molliver ME, Kuhar MJ (1978) In situ injection of kainic acid: A new method for selectively lesioning neuronal cell bodies while sparing axons of passage. J Comp Neurol 180:301–324Google Scholar
  7. Hain RF (1963) In discussion: Origin of gitter cells in mouse brain by Koningsmark WB and Sidman RL. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 22:327–328Google Scholar
  8. Huntington HW, Terry RD (1966) The origin of the reactive cells in cerebral stab wound. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 25:646–653Google Scholar
  9. Imamoto K, Leblond CP (1977) Presence of labeled monocytes, macrophages and microglia in a stab wound of the brain following an injection of bone marrow cells labeled with 3H-uridine into rats. J Comp Neurol 174:255–280Google Scholar
  10. Imamoto K, Leblond CP (1978) Radioautographic investigation of gliogenesis in the corpus callosum of young rats. II. Origin of microglial cells. J Comp Neurol 180:139–164Google Scholar
  11. Kruger L, Hámori J (1970) An electron microscopic study of dendritic degeneration in the cerebral cortex resulting from laminar lesions. Exp Brain Res 10:1–16Google Scholar
  12. Kerns JM, Hinsman EJ (1973a) Neuroglial response to sciatic neurectomy. I. Light microscopy and autoradiography. J Comp Neurol 151:237–254Google Scholar
  13. Kerns JM, Hinsman EJ (1973b) Neuroglial response to sciatic neurectomy. II. Electron microscopy. J Comp Neurol 151:255–280Google Scholar
  14. Lampert PW, Schochet SS (1968) Electron microscopic observations on experimental spongy degeneration of the cerebellar white matter. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 27:210–220Google Scholar
  15. Lemkey-Johnstan N, Butler V, Reynolds WA (1976) Glial changes in the progress of a chemical lesion. An electron microscopic study. J Comp Neurol 167:481–502Google Scholar
  16. Ling EA (1979) Evidence of a hematogenous origin of some of the macrophages appearing in the spinal cord of the rat after dorsal rhizotomy. J Anat 128:143–154Google Scholar
  17. Matthews MA (1974) Microglia and reactive “M” cells of degenerating central nervous system: Does similar morphology and function imply a common origin? Cell Tissue Res 148:477–491Google Scholar
  18. Matthews MA, Kruger L (1973a) Electron microscopy of non-neuronal cellular changes accompanying neural degeneration in thalamic nuclei of the rabbit. I. Reactive hematogenous and perivascular elements within the basal lamina. J Comp Neurol 148:285–312Google Scholar
  19. Matthews MA, Kruger L (1973b) Electron microscopy of non-neuronal cellular changes accompanying neural degeneration in thalamic nuclei of the rabbit. II. Reactive elements within the neuropil. J Comp Neurol 148:313–346Google Scholar
  20. McMahan UJ (1967) Fine structure of synapse in the dorsal nucleus of the lateral geniculate body of normal and blinded rats. Z Zellforsch 76:116–146Google Scholar
  21. Mugnaini E, Walberg F, Brodal A (1967) Mode of termination of primary vestibular nucleus. An experimental electron microscopic study in the cat. Exp Brain Res 4:187–211Google Scholar
  22. Murabe Y, Sano Y (1981) Morphological studies on neuroglia. I. Electron microscopic identification of silver-impregnated glial cells. Cell Tissue Res 216:557–568Google Scholar
  23. Nadler JV, Perry BW, Cotman CW (1978) Preferential vulnerability of hippocampus to intraventricular kainic acid. In: McGeer EG, Olney JW, McGeer PI (eds) Kainic Acid as A Tool in Neurobiology. Raven Press, New York, pp 219–238Google Scholar
  24. Penfield W (1932) Neuroglia. In: Penfield W, Paul B (eds) Cytology and Cellular Pathology of the Nervous System. Hoeber Inc, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  25. Rio-Hortega P del (1932) Microglia. In: Penfield W, Paul B (eds) Cytology and Cellular Pathology of the Nervous System. Hoeber Inc, New York, Vol 2, pp 481–534Google Scholar
  26. Vaughn JE, Pease DC (1970) Electron microscopic studies of Wallerian degeneration in rat optic nerves. II. Astrocytes, oligodendrocytes and adventitial cells. J Comp Neurol 140:207–226Google Scholar
  27. Vaughn JE, Skoff RP (1972) Neuroglia in experimentally altered central nervous system. In: Bourne G (ed) The Structure and Function of the Nervous System. Vol 5. Academic Press, New York, pp 39–72Google Scholar
  28. Wuerthele SM, Lovell KL, Jones MZ, Moore KE (1978) A histological study of kainic acid-induced lesions in the rat brain. Brain Res 149:489–497Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH & Co. KG 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y. Murabe
    • 1
  • Y. Ibata
    • 1
  • Y. Sano
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnatomyKyoto Prefectural University of MedicineKyotoJapan

Personalised recommendations