The response of microglial cells to cortical spreading depression (CSD) was studied in rat brain by immunocytochemistry. CSD was elicited for one hour by the topical application of 4M potassium chloride solution and the microglial reaction examined immunocytochemically after 4, 16, 24 and 72 hours. CSD was sufficient to induce a microglial reaction throughout the cortex at 24 hours. Activated microglial cells furthermore showed a striking de‐novo expression of major histocompatibility complex class II antigens. In contrast, no microglial reaction was observed in the cortex of sham‐operated animals. This microglial reaction in response to CSD was not associated with histologically detectable neuronal damage. These results support the view that microglial cells are extremely sensitive to changes of the brain microenvironment. Their activation may be related to changes of ion homeostasis in the brain which are not sufficient to trigger neuronal injury.
Brain Pathology – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 1993
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