Hypoxia/Ischemia-Induced Rod Microglia Phenotype in CA1 Hippocampal Slices

D. Lana, E. Gerace, G. Magni, F. Cialdai, M. Monici, G. Mannaioni, M.G. Giovannini
International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 23(3), 1422, 2022

The complexity of microglia phenotypes and their related functions compels the continuous study of microglia in diseases animal models. We demonstrated that oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) induced rapid, time- and space-dependent phenotypic microglia modifications in CA1 stratum pyramidalis (SP) and stratum radiatum (SR) of rat organotypic hippocampal slices as well as the degeneration of pyramidal neurons, especially in the outer layer of SP. Twenty-four h following OGD, many rod microglia formed trains of elongated cells spanning from the SR throughout the CA1, reaching the SP outer layer where they acquired a round-shaped amoeboid phagocytic head and phagocytosed most of the pyknotic, damaged neurons. NIR-laser treatment, known to preserve neuronal viability after OGD, prevented rod microglia formation. In CA3 SP, pyramidal neurons were less damaged, no rod microglia were found. Thirty-six h after OGD, neuronal damage was more pronounced in SP outer and inner layers of CA1, rod microglia cells were no longer detectable, and most microglia were amoeboid/phagocytic. Damaged neurons, more numerous 36 h after OGD, were phagocytosed by amoeboid microglia in both inner and outer layers of CA1. In response to OGD, microglia can acquire different morphofunctional phenotypes which depend on the time after the insult and on the subregion where microglia are located.