Macrophagic and microglial responses after focal traumatic brain injury in the female rat.

Journal of neuroinflammation

PubMedID: 24761998

Turtzo LC, Lescher J, Janes L, Dean DD, Budde MD, Frank JA. Macrophagic and microglial responses after focal traumatic brain injury in the female rat. J Neuroinflammation. 2014;11(1):82.
After central nervous system injury, inflammatory macrophages (M1) predominate over anti-inflammatory macrophages (M2). The temporal profile of M1/M2 phenotypes in macrophages and microglia after traumatic brain injury (TBI) in rats is unknown. We subjected female rats to severe controlled cortical impact (CCI) and examined the postinjury M1/M2 time course in their brains.

The motor cortex (2.5 mm left laterally and 1.0 mm anteriorly from the bregma) of anesthetized female Wistar rats (ages 8 to 10 weeks; N = 72) underwent histologically moderate to severe CCI with a 5-mm impactor tip. Separate cohorts of rats had their brains dissociated into cells for flow cytometry, perfusion-fixed for immunohistochemistry (IHC) and ex vivo magnetic resonance imaging or flash-frozen for RNA and protein analysis. For each analytical method used, separate postinjury times were included for 24 hours; 3 or 5 days; or 1, 2, 4 or 8 weeks.

By IHC, we found that the macrophagic and microglial responses peaked at 5 to 7 days post-TBI with characteristics of mixed populations of M1 and M2 phenotypes. Upon flow cytometry examination of immunological cells isolated from brain tissue, we observed that peak M2-associated staining occurred at 5 days post-TBI. Chemokine analysis by multiplex assay showed statistically significant increases in macrophage inflammatory protein 1alpha and keratinocyte chemoattractant/growth-related oncogene on the ipsilateral side within the first 24 hours after injury relative to controls and to the contralateral side. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis demonstrated expression of both M1- and M2-associated markers, which peaked at 5 days post-TBI.

The responses of macrophagic and microglial cells to histologically severe CCI in the female rat are maximal between days 3 and 7 postinjury. The response to injury is a mixture of M1 and M2 phenotypes.