A quantitative spatiotemporal analysis of microglia morphology during ischemic stroke and reperfusion

Helena W Morrison, Jessica A. Filosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

181 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Microglia cells continuously survey the healthy brain in a ramified morphology and, in response to injury, undergo progressive morphological and functional changes that encompass microglia activation. Although ideally positioned for immediate response to ischemic stroke (IS) and reperfusion, their progressive morphological transformation into activated cells has not been quantified. In addition, it is not well understood if diverse microglia morphologies correlate to diverse microglia functions. As such, the dichotomous nature of these cells continues to confound our understanding of microglia-mediated injury after IS and reperfusion. The purpose of this study was to quantitatively characterize the spatiotemporal pattern of microglia morphology during the evolution of cerebral injury after IS and reperfusion.Methods: Male C57Bl/6 mice were subjected to focal cerebral ischemia and periods of reperfusion (0, 8 and 24 h). The microglia process length/cell and number of endpoints/cell was quantified from immunofluorescent confocal images of brain regions using a skeleton analysis method developed for this study. Live cell morphology and process activity were measured from movies acquired in acute brain slices from GFP-CX3CR1 transgenic mice after IS and 24-h reperfusion. Regional CD11b and iNOS expressions were measured from confocal images and Western blot, respectively, to assess microglia proinflammatory function.Results: Quantitative analysis reveals a significant spatiotemporal relationship between microglia morphology and evolving cerebral injury in the ipsilateral hemisphere after IS and reperfusion. Microglia were both hyper- and de-ramified in striatal and cortical brain regions (respectively) after 60 min of focal cerebral ischemia. However, a de-ramified morphology was prominent when ischemia was coupled to reperfusion. Live microglia were de-ramified, and, in addition, process activity was severely blunted proximal to the necrotic core after IS and 24 h of reperfusion. CD11b expression, but not iNOS expression, was increased in regions of hyper- and de-ramified microglia during the course of ischemic stroke and 24 h of reperfusion.Conclusions: Our findings illustrate that microglia activation after stroke includes both increased and decreased cell ramification. Importantly, quantitative analyses of microglial morphology and activity are feasible and, in future studies, would assist in the comprehensive identification and stratification of their dichotomous contribution toward cerebral injury and recovery during IS and reperfusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4
JournalJournal of Neuroinflammation
Volume10
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 11 2013
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Spatio-Temporal Analysis
Microglia
Reperfusion
Stroke
Wounds and Injuries
Brain
Brain Ischemia
Corpus Striatum
Motion Pictures
Skeleton
Transgenic Mice

Keywords

  • Ischemic stroke
  • Microglia
  • Morphology
  • Mouse
  • Reperfusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Neurology
  • Immunology
  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

A quantitative spatiotemporal analysis of microglia morphology during ischemic stroke and reperfusion. / Morrison, Helena W; Filosa, Jessica A.

In: Journal of Neuroinflammation, Vol. 10, 4, 11.01.2013.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "Background: Microglia cells continuously survey the healthy brain in a ramified morphology and, in response to injury, undergo progressive morphological and functional changes that encompass microglia activation. Although ideally positioned for immediate response to ischemic stroke (IS) and reperfusion, their progressive morphological transformation into activated cells has not been quantified. In addition, it is not well understood if diverse microglia morphologies correlate to diverse microglia functions. As such, the dichotomous nature of these cells continues to confound our understanding of microglia-mediated injury after IS and reperfusion. The purpose of this study was to quantitatively characterize the spatiotemporal pattern of microglia morphology during the evolution of cerebral injury after IS and reperfusion.Methods: Male C57Bl/6 mice were subjected to focal cerebral ischemia and periods of reperfusion (0, 8 and 24 h). The microglia process length/cell and number of endpoints/cell was quantified from immunofluorescent confocal images of brain regions using a skeleton analysis method developed for this study. Live cell morphology and process activity were measured from movies acquired in acute brain slices from GFP-CX3CR1 transgenic mice after IS and 24-h reperfusion. Regional CD11b and iNOS expressions were measured from confocal images and Western blot, respectively, to assess microglia proinflammatory function.Results: Quantitative analysis reveals a significant spatiotemporal relationship between microglia morphology and evolving cerebral injury in the ipsilateral hemisphere after IS and reperfusion. Microglia were both hyper- and de-ramified in striatal and cortical brain regions (respectively) after 60 min of focal cerebral ischemia. However, a de-ramified morphology was prominent when ischemia was coupled to reperfusion. Live microglia were de-ramified, and, in addition, process activity was severely blunted proximal to the necrotic core after IS and 24 h of reperfusion. CD11b expression, but not iNOS expression, was increased in regions of hyper- and de-ramified microglia during the course of ischemic stroke and 24 h of reperfusion.Conclusions: Our findings illustrate that microglia activation after stroke includes both increased and decreased cell ramification. Importantly, quantitative analyses of microglial morphology and activity are feasible and, in future studies, would assist in the comprehensive identification and stratification of their dichotomous contribution toward cerebral injury and recovery during IS and reperfusion.",
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N2 - Background: Microglia cells continuously survey the healthy brain in a ramified morphology and, in response to injury, undergo progressive morphological and functional changes that encompass microglia activation. Although ideally positioned for immediate response to ischemic stroke (IS) and reperfusion, their progressive morphological transformation into activated cells has not been quantified. In addition, it is not well understood if diverse microglia morphologies correlate to diverse microglia functions. As such, the dichotomous nature of these cells continues to confound our understanding of microglia-mediated injury after IS and reperfusion. The purpose of this study was to quantitatively characterize the spatiotemporal pattern of microglia morphology during the evolution of cerebral injury after IS and reperfusion.Methods: Male C57Bl/6 mice were subjected to focal cerebral ischemia and periods of reperfusion (0, 8 and 24 h). The microglia process length/cell and number of endpoints/cell was quantified from immunofluorescent confocal images of brain regions using a skeleton analysis method developed for this study. Live cell morphology and process activity were measured from movies acquired in acute brain slices from GFP-CX3CR1 transgenic mice after IS and 24-h reperfusion. Regional CD11b and iNOS expressions were measured from confocal images and Western blot, respectively, to assess microglia proinflammatory function.Results: Quantitative analysis reveals a significant spatiotemporal relationship between microglia morphology and evolving cerebral injury in the ipsilateral hemisphere after IS and reperfusion. Microglia were both hyper- and de-ramified in striatal and cortical brain regions (respectively) after 60 min of focal cerebral ischemia. However, a de-ramified morphology was prominent when ischemia was coupled to reperfusion. Live microglia were de-ramified, and, in addition, process activity was severely blunted proximal to the necrotic core after IS and 24 h of reperfusion. CD11b expression, but not iNOS expression, was increased in regions of hyper- and de-ramified microglia during the course of ischemic stroke and 24 h of reperfusion.Conclusions: Our findings illustrate that microglia activation after stroke includes both increased and decreased cell ramification. Importantly, quantitative analyses of microglial morphology and activity are feasible and, in future studies, would assist in the comprehensive identification and stratification of their dichotomous contribution toward cerebral injury and recovery during IS and reperfusion.

AB - Background: Microglia cells continuously survey the healthy brain in a ramified morphology and, in response to injury, undergo progressive morphological and functional changes that encompass microglia activation. Although ideally positioned for immediate response to ischemic stroke (IS) and reperfusion, their progressive morphological transformation into activated cells has not been quantified. In addition, it is not well understood if diverse microglia morphologies correlate to diverse microglia functions. As such, the dichotomous nature of these cells continues to confound our understanding of microglia-mediated injury after IS and reperfusion. The purpose of this study was to quantitatively characterize the spatiotemporal pattern of microglia morphology during the evolution of cerebral injury after IS and reperfusion.Methods: Male C57Bl/6 mice were subjected to focal cerebral ischemia and periods of reperfusion (0, 8 and 24 h). The microglia process length/cell and number of endpoints/cell was quantified from immunofluorescent confocal images of brain regions using a skeleton analysis method developed for this study. Live cell morphology and process activity were measured from movies acquired in acute brain slices from GFP-CX3CR1 transgenic mice after IS and 24-h reperfusion. Regional CD11b and iNOS expressions were measured from confocal images and Western blot, respectively, to assess microglia proinflammatory function.Results: Quantitative analysis reveals a significant spatiotemporal relationship between microglia morphology and evolving cerebral injury in the ipsilateral hemisphere after IS and reperfusion. Microglia were both hyper- and de-ramified in striatal and cortical brain regions (respectively) after 60 min of focal cerebral ischemia. However, a de-ramified morphology was prominent when ischemia was coupled to reperfusion. Live microglia were de-ramified, and, in addition, process activity was severely blunted proximal to the necrotic core after IS and 24 h of reperfusion. CD11b expression, but not iNOS expression, was increased in regions of hyper- and de-ramified microglia during the course of ischemic stroke and 24 h of reperfusion.Conclusions: Our findings illustrate that microglia activation after stroke includes both increased and decreased cell ramification. Importantly, quantitative analyses of microglial morphology and activity are feasible and, in future studies, would assist in the comprehensive identification and stratification of their dichotomous contribution toward cerebral injury and recovery during IS and reperfusion.

KW - Ischemic stroke

KW - Microglia

KW - Morphology

KW - Mouse

KW - Reperfusion

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