• Microglial involvement in brain physiopathology: in vitro studies using rat primary cultures
  • Mengoni, Ilaria <1986>


  • BIO/09 Fisiologia


  • Microglial involvement in neurological disorders is well-established, being microglial activation not only associated with neurotoxic consequences, but also with neuroprotective effects. The studies presented here, based on microglia rat primary cell cultures and mainly on microglial conditioned medium (MCM), show insights into the mechanism of Superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) and Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) secretion by microglia as well as their neuroprotective effect towards primary cerebellar granule neurons (CGNs) exposed to the dopaminergic toxin 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA). SOD1 and ApoE are released respectively through non-classical lysosomal or the classical ER/Golgi-mediated secretion pathway. Microglial conditioned medium, in which SOD1 and ApoE accumulated, protected CGNs from degeneration and these effects were replicated when exogenous SOD1 or ApoE was added to a non-conditioned medium. SOD1 neuroprotective action was mediated by increased cell calcium from an external source. ApoE release is negatively affected by microglia activation, both with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and Benzoylbenzoyl-ATP (Bz-ATP) but is stimulated by neuronal-conditioned medium as well as in microglia-neurons co-culture conditions. This neuronal-stimulated microglial ApoE release is differently regulated by activation states (i.e. LPS vs ATP) and by 6-hydroxydopamine-induced neurodegeneration. In co-culture conditions, microglial ApoE release is essential for neuroprotection, since microglial ApoE silencing through siRNA abrogated protection of cerebellar granule neurons against 6-OHDA toxicity. Therefore, these molecules could represent a target for manipulation aimed at promoting neuroprotection in brain diseases. Considering a pathological context, and the microglial ability to adopt a neuroprotective or neurotoxic profile, we characterize the microglial M1/M2 phenotype in transgenic rats (McGill-R-Thy1-APP) which reproduce extensively the Alzheimer’s-like amyloid pathology. Here, for the first time, cortical, hippocampal and cerebellar microglia of wild type and transgenic adult rats were compared, at both early and advanced stages of the pathology. In view of possible therapeutic translations, these findings are relevant to test microglial neuroprotection, in animal models of neurodegenerative diseases.


  • 2014-04-07


  • Doctoral Thesis
  • PeerReviewed


  • application/pdf



Mengoni, Ilaria (2014) Microglial involvement in brain physiopathology: in vitro studies using rat primary cultures, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Biologia cellulare e molecolare , 26 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/6466.