Microglial and macrophage reactions mark progressive changes and define the penumbra in the rat neocortex and striatum after transient middle cerebral artery occlusion

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E Lehrmann, Thomas Christensen, J Zimmer, Nils Henrik Diemer, B Finsen

Transient middle cerebral artery occlusion in rats leads to infarction of the lateral part of the striatum and adjacent neocortex, with selective neuronal necrosis in the bordering penumbral zones. Administration of glutamate, cytokine, and leukocyte antagonists have rescued mainly neocortical neurons, indicating differences in the degenerative processes. The aim of this study was, therefore, to describe the microglial/macrophage activation and polymorphonuclear leukocyte recruitment patterns and to correlate these with the ischemia-induced degenerative processes. The analysis showed significant differences in the characteristics and timing of the microglial/macrophage responses between the caudate putamen and neocortical infarct zones, the infarct zones and their associated penumbral zones, as well as between the striatal and the neocortical penumbral zone. Infiltrations with polymorphonuclear leukocytes into the infarct zones were limited and shortlasting and confined to the acutely degenerating striatum and piriform cortex. A delayed, massive infiltration with lipid phagocytes into the caudate putamen infarct markedly contrasted an early recruitment and activation of microglia/macrophages in the adjacent penumbra. Within the neocortex, a later onset of degeneration along the insular-parietal axis was marked by neuronal expression of heat shock protein and a progressive microglial activation with induction of the full repertoire of microglial activation markers, including a widespread microglial major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II antigen expression. We interpret the present results as delineating two differentially progressing penumbral zones, which are likely to reflect differences in the underlying degenerative processes. Differences in the microglial/macrophage activation pattern attract special attention, as these cells may constitute specific targets for therapeutic intervention.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftJournal of Comparative Neurology
Vol/bind386
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)461-76
Antal sider16
ISSN0021-9967
StatusUdgivet - 29 sep. 1997

ID: 45392461