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Maturation of the microglial population varies across mesolimbic nuclei.

Authors
  • Hope, Keenan T1
  • Hawes, Isobel A2
  • Moca, Eric N1
  • Bonci, Antonello
  • De Biase, Lindsay M1, 2
  • 1 Department of Physiology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
  • 2 Intramural Research Program, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, MD, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
European Journal of Neuroscience
Publisher
Wiley (Blackwell Publishing)
Publication Date
Oct 01, 2020
Volume
52
Issue
7
Pages
3689–3709
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1111/ejn.14740
PMID: 32281691
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Microglia play critical roles during CNS development and undergo dramatic changes in tissue distribution, morphology, and gene expression as they transition from embryonic to neonatal to adult microglial phenotypes. Despite the magnitude of these phenotypic shifts, little is known about the time course and dynamics of these transitions and whether they vary across brain regions. Here, we define the time course of microglial maturation in key regions of the basal ganglia in mice, where significant regional differences in microglial phenotype are present in adults. We found that microglial density peaks in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and nucleus accumbens (NAc) during the third postnatal week, driven by a burst of microglial proliferation. Microglial abundance is then refined to adult levels through a combination of tissue expansion and microglial programmed cell death. This overproduction and refinement of microglia was significantly more pronounced in the NAc than in the VTA and was accompanied by a sharp peak in NAc microglial lysosome abundance in the third postnatal week. Collectively, these data identify a key developmental window when elevated microglial density in discrete basal ganglia nuclei may support circuit refinement and could increase susceptibility to inflammatory insults. © 2020 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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