Title
Pattern of invasion of the embryonic mouse spinal cord by microglial cells at the time of the onset of functional neuronal networks Pattern of invasion of the embryonic mouse spinal cord by microglial cells at the time of the onset of functional neuronal networks
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences . Biomedical Sciences
Publication type
article
Publication
New York ,
Subject
Veterinary medicine
Source (journal)
Glia. - New York
Volume/pages
59(2011) :4 , p. 675-695
ISSN
0894-1491
ISI
000287372500013
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Microglial cells invade the central nervous system during embryonic development, but their developmental functional roles in vivo remain largely unknown. Accordingly, their invasion pattern during early embryonic development is still poorly understood. To address this issue, we analyzed the initial developmental pattern of microglial cell invasion in the spinal cord of CX3CR1-eGFP mouse embryos using immunohistochemistry. Microglial cells began to invade the mouse embryonic spinal cord at a developmental period corresponding to the onset of spontaneous electrical activity and of synaptogenesis. Microglial cells reached the spinal cord through the peripheral vasculature and began to invade the parenchyma at 11.5 days of embryonic age (E11.5). Remarkably, at E12.5, activated microglial cells aggregated in the dorsolateral region close to terminals of dying dorsal root ganglia neurons. At E13.5, microglial cells in the ventral marginal zone interacted with radial glial cells, whereas ramified microglial cells within the parenchyma interacted with growing capillaries. At this age, activated microglial cells (Mac-2 staining) also accumulated within the lateral motor columns at the onset of the developmental cell death of motoneurons. This cell aggregation was still observed at E14.5, but microglial cells no longer expressed Mac-2. At E15.5, microglial cells were randomly distributed within the parenchyma. Our results provide the essential basis for further studies on the role of microglial cells in the early development of spinal cord neuronal networks in vivo.
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