Immune cells have important roles during disease and are known to contribute to secondary, inflammation-induced injury after traumatic brain injury. To delineate the functional role of macrophages during traumatic brain injury, we depleted macrophages using transgenic CD11b-DTR mice and subjected them to controlled cortical impact. We found that macrophage depletion had no effect on lesion size assessed by T2-weighted MRI scans 28 days after injury. Macrophage depletion resulted in a robust increase in proinflammatory gene expression in both the ipsilateral and contralateral hemispheres after controlled cortical impact. Interestingly, this sizeable increase in inflammation did not affect lesion development. We also showed that macrophage depletion resulted in increased proinflammatory gene expression in the brain and kidney in the absence of injury. These data demonstrate that depletion of macrophages in CD11b-DTR mice can significantly modulate the inflammatory response during brain injury without affecting lesion formation. These data also reveal a potentially confounding inflammatory effect in CD11b-DTR mice that must be considered when interpreting the effects of macrophage depletion in disease models.
Brain Research – Elsevier
Published: Oct 22, 2015
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