Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Neurosci. 2000 Aug 15;20(16):6309-16.

Regional difference in susceptibility to lipopolysaccharide-induced neurotoxicity in the rat brain: role of microglia.

Author information

  • 1Neuropharmacology Section, Laboratory of Pharmacology and Chemistry, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709, USA.


Inflammation in the brain has been increasingly associated with the development of a number of neurological diseases. The hallmark of neuroinflammation is the activation of microglia, the resident brain immune cells. Injection of bacterial endotoxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS) into the hippocampus, cortex, or substantia nigra of adult rats produced neurodegeneration only in the substantia nigra. Although LPS appeared to impact upon mesencephalic neurons in general, an extensive loss of dopaminergic neurons was observed. Analysis of the abundance of microglia revealed that the substantia nigra had the highest density of microglia. When mixed neuron-glia cultures derived from the rat hippocampus, cortex, or mesencephalon were treated with LPS, mesencephalic cultures became sensitive to LPS at a concentration as low as 10 ng/ml and responded in a dose-dependent manner with the production of inflammatory factors and a loss of dopaminergic and other neurons. In contrast, hippocampal or cortical cultures remained insensitive to LPS treatment at concentrations as high as 10 microg/ml. Consistent with in vivo observations, mesencephalic cultures had fourfold to eightfold more microglia than cultures from other regions. The positive correlation between abundance of microglia and sensitivity to LPS-induced neurotoxicity was further supported by the observation that supplementation with enriched microglia derived from mesencephalon or cortex rendered LPS-insensitive cortical neuron-glia cultures sensitive to LPS-induced neurotoxicity. These data indicate that the region-specific differential susceptibility of neurons to LPS is attributable to differences in the number of microglia present within the system and may reflect levels of inflammation-related factors produced by these cells.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk