A novel technique for morphometric quantification of subarachnoid hemorrhage-induced microglia activation
Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is a neurologic catastrophe and poor outcome is typically attributed to vasospasm; however, there is also evidence that SAH causes a pro-inflammatory state and these two phenomena may be interrelated. SAH causes activation of microglia, but the time course and degree of microglial activation after SAH and its link to poor patient outcome and vasospasm remains unknown.
Transgenic mice expressing eGFP under the control of the CX3CR1 locus, in which microglia are endogenously fluorescent, were randomly assigned to control or SAH groups. Immunohistochemistry for CD-68 and CD-31 was performed at different time points after SAH. Using confocal microscopy and MatLab software, we have developed a novel technique to detect and quantify the stages of microglial activation and return to quiescence using an automated computerized morphometric analysis.
We detected a statistically significant decrease in microglial process complexity 2 and 7 days following SAH. In addition, we detected a statistically significant increase in microglial domain volume 1 day following SAH; however, microglial domain volume returned to baseline by 2 days.
Most techniques for microglia assessment are qualitative, not quantitative, and are therefore inadequate to address the effects of anti-inflammatory drug treatment or other therapies after SAH.
Using novel image analysis techniques we were able to reproducibly quantify activation of microglia following SAH, which will improve our ability to study the biology of microglial activation, and may ultimately improve management of disease progression and response to therapies directed at microglial activation.
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Available from: Zong-Yong Zhang
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ABSTRACT: Activation of metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) provided neuroprotection in multiple central nervous system injury, but the roles of mGluR5 in subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) remain unclear. In present study, we aimed to evaluate whether activation of mGluR5 attenuates early brain injury (EBI) after experimental SAH in rats. We found that selective mGluR5 orthosteric agonist CHPG or positive allosteric modulator VU0360172 administration significantly improves neurological function and attenuates brain edema at 24 h after SAH. Furthermore, mGluR5 obviously expresses in activated microglia (ED-1 positive) after SAH. CHPG or VU0360172 administration significantly reduces the numbers of activated microglia and the protein and mRNA levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α at 24 h after SAH. Moreover, CHPG or VU0360172 administration obviously reduces the number of TUNEL-positive cells and active caspase-3/NeuN-positive neurons in cortex at 24 h after SAH. CHPG or VU0360172 administration significantly up-regulates the expression of Bcl-2, and down-regulates the expression of Bax and active caspase-3, which in turn increases the ratio of Bcl-2/Bax. Our results indicate that activation of mGluR5 attenuates microglial activation and neuronal apoptosis, and improves neurological function in EBI after SAH.
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ABSTRACT: Glial cells, both astrocytes and microglia, respond to neurodegenerative processes and to brain damage by a process called reactive gliosis. This response is highly context dependent, varies from mild to severe, and can be protective or detrimental for neural functioning. In patients with a subarachnoid hemorrhage from a ruptured aneurysm, the acute glial response is important to restrict the initial damage. Patients who survive the hemorrhage and early brain injury, often suffer from delayed cerebral ischemia or persisting cognitive impairment. Glia emerge as versatile cells that can modulate synapses and can control the microcirculatory blood flow in the brain. Therefore, a sustained activation of glial cells can affect normal brain functioning. Here we review the current literature on the glial response induced by aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage in humans and in animal models. We discuss how reactive gliosis can affect brain functioning and how it may contribute to early brain injury, delayed cerebral ischemia and cognitive impairment after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage.
Available from: Ana Isabel Ramírez
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ABSTRACT: Proliferation of microglial cells has been considered a sign of glial activation and a hallmark of ongoing neurodegenerative diseases. Microglia activation is analyzed in animal models of different eye diseases. Numerous retinal samples are required for each of these studies to obtain relevant data of statistical significance. Because manual quantification of microglial cells is time consuming, the aim of this study was develop an algorithm for automatic identification of retinal microglia. Two groups of adult male Swiss mice were used: age-matched controls (naïve, n = 6) and mice subjected to unilateral laser-induced ocular hypertension (lasered; n = 9). In the latter group, both hypertensive eyes and contralateral untreated retinas were analyzed. Retinal whole mounts were immunostained with anti Iba-1 for detecting microglial cell populations. A new algorithm was developed in MATLAB for microglial quantification; it enabled the quantification of microglial cells in the inner and outer plexiform layers and evaluates the area of the retina occupied by Iba-1+ microglia in the nerve fiber-ganglion cell layer. The automatic method was applied to a set of 6,000 images. To validate the algorithm, mouse retinas were evaluated both manually and computationally; the program correctly assessed the number of cells (Pearson correlation R = 0.94 and R = 0.98 for the inner and outer plexiform layers respectively). Statistically significant differences in glial cell number were found between naïve, lasered eyes and contralateral eyes (P<0.05, naïve versus contralateral eyes; P<0.001, naïve versus lasered eyes and contralateral versus lasered eyes). The algorithm developed is a reliable and fast tool that can evaluate the number of microglial cells in naïve mouse retinas and in retinas exhibiting proliferation. The implementation of this new automatic method can enable faster quantification of microglial cells in retinal pathologies.
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