Sheehan JJ, Tsirka SE (2002) Reduction of microglia cell populations before induction of excitotoxicity reduces neurodegeneration. Neuroscience 2002 Abstracts 606.9. Society for Neuroscience, Orlando, FL.
Summary: Excitotoxicity is thought to be a component of many neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s and stroke. In excitotoxicity, as well as other injury models, microglia have been found to have both neuroprotective and neurodegenerative roles. To lend further insight into this controversy we utilized an immunotoxin selective for monocyte derived cell populations including microglia. The immunotoxin will selectively kill microglia and is not toxic to neurons or other glia populations in culture. In addition, infusion of the immunotoxin into the hippocampus of C57/Bl mice results in a selective reduction in endogenous microglial cell populations in this region. Furthermore, this reduction occurs without any perturbation of other cell types or the extracellular matrix. If depletion of microglia in this manner precedes excitotoxic injury, then hippocampal neurodegeneration is significantly reduced. These results agree with other work in our lab, which suggests that microglial cells exhibit neurotoxic properties in excitotoxicity.
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