Injury Leads to the Appearance of Cells with Characteristics of Both Microglia and Astrocytes in Mouse and Human Brain

Ulrika Wilhelmsson, Daniel Andersson, Yolanda De Pablo, Roy Pekny, Anders Ståhlberg, Jan Mulder, Nicholas Mitsios, T. Hortobágyi, Milos Pekny, Marcela Pekna

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7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Microglia and astrocytes have been considered until now as cells with very distinct identities. Here, we assessed the heterogeneity within microglia/monocyte cell population in mouse hippocampus and determined their response to injury, by using single-cell gene expression profiling of cells isolated from uninjured and deafferented hippocampus. We found that in individual cells, microglial markers Cx3cr1, Aif1, Itgam, and Cd68 were co-expressed. Interestingly, injury led to the co-expression of the astrocyte marker Gfap in a subpopulation of Cx3cr1-expressing cells from both the injured and contralesional hippocampus. Cells co-expressing astrocyte and microglia markers were also detected in the in vitro LPS activation/injury model and in sections from human brain affected by stroke, Alzheimer's disease, and Lewy body dementia. Our findings indicate that injury and chronic neurodegeneration lead to the appearance of cells that share molecular characteristics of both microglia and astrocytes, 2 cell types with distinct embryologic origin and function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3360-3377
Number of pages18
JournalCerebral Cortex
Volume27
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2017

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Keywords

  • AIF1
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • C1q
  • CCR2
  • CX3CR1
  • glial fibrillary acidic protein
  • Lewy body dementia
  • single cell gene expression
  • stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Cite this

Wilhelmsson, U., Andersson, D., De Pablo, Y., Pekny, R., Ståhlberg, A., Mulder, J., Mitsios, N., Hortobágyi, T., Pekny, M., & Pekna, M. (2017). Injury Leads to the Appearance of Cells with Characteristics of Both Microglia and Astrocytes in Mouse and Human Brain. Cerebral Cortex, 27(6), 3360-3377. https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhx069