Brain Structure and Function

, Volume 218, Issue 4, pp 1051–1060 | Cite as

Differential distribution and activation of microglia in the brain of male C57BL/6J mice

Original Article

Abstract

Upon certain stimuli, microglia undergo different degrees of transformation in order to maintain homeostasis of the CNS. However, chronic microglia activation has been suggested to play an active role in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. The density of microglia and the degree of microglia activation vary among brain regions; such differences may underlie the brain region-specific characteristics of neurodegenerative diseases. In this study, we aim to characterize the temporal and spatial profiles of microglia activation induced by peripheral inflammation in male C57BL/6J mice. Our results showed that, on average, microglia densities were highest in the cortex, followed by the limbic area, basal nuclei, diencephalon, brainstem and cerebellum. Among the 22 examined brain nuclei/regions, the substantia nigra had the highest microglia density. Microglia morphological changes were evident within 3 h after a single intraperitoneal lipopolysaccharides injection, with the highest degree of changes also in the substantia nigra. The lipopolysaccharide-induced microglia activation, determined by maximal cell size, was positively correlated with density of microglia and levels of TNFα receptor 1; it was not correlated with original microglia cell size or integrity of blood–brain barrier. The differential response of microglia also cannot be explained by different types of neurotransmitters. Our works suggest that the high density of microglia and the high levels of TNFα receptor 1 in the substantia nigra make this brain region the most susceptible area to systemic immunological insults.

Keywords

Microglia TNFα receptor 1 Substantia nigra Systemic inflammation LPS Mouse 

Abbreviations

AcbC

Accumbens nucleus core

Amyg

Amygdala

BBB

Blood–brain barrier

BNST

Bed nucleus of stria terminalis

CA2/3

CA2/CA3 of hippocampus

Cb ant/post

Cerebellum anterior lobe/posterior lobe

CNS

Central nervous system

CPu

Caudate-putamen (striatum)

DG

Dentate gyrus of hippocampus

DH

Dorsal hypothalamus

Iba-1

Ionized calcium-binding adapter molecule-1

LH

Lateral hypothalamic

LPAG

Lateral periaqueductal gray

LPS

Lipopolysaccharide

MEnt

Medial entorhinal cortex

MFC

Medial frontal cortex

PFC

Prefrontal cortex

Pir

Piriform cortex

Pn

Pontine nucleus

SN

Substantia nigra

SC

Superior colliculus

S1

Sensory cortex, trunk region

TNFα

Tumor-necrosis factor α

TNFR1

Tumor-necrosis factor receptor 1

VA

Ventral anterior thalamic nucleus

V1

Visual cortex

VTA

Ventral tegmental area

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chinese Medicine for Post-BaccalaureateI-Shou UniversityKaohsiungTaiwan
  2. 2.Department of PhysiologyChina Medical UniversityTaichungTaiwan
  3. 3.Department of PathologyE-Da Hospital and I-Shou UniversityKaohsiungTaiwan
  4. 4.Department of Cell Biology and AnatomyNational Cheng Kung UniversityTainanTaiwan

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