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Neurosci Lett. 2012 Mar 28;513(1):31-6. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2012.01.079. Epub 2012 Feb 10.

Changes in microglial activation within the hindbrain, nodose ganglia, and the spinal cord following subdiaphragmatic vagotomy.

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  • 1Program in Neuroscience, Department of Veterinary and Comparative Anatomy, Pharmacology and Physiology, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164, USA.

Abstract

Damage to peripheral nerve branches triggers activation of microglia in CNS areas containing motor neuron soma and primary afferent terminals of the damaged fibers. Furthermore, microglial activation occurs in areas containing the soma and terminals of spared nerve branches of a damaged nerve. Because the abdominal viscera are innervated by spinal afferents as well as vagal afferents and efferents, we speculated that spinal nerves might respond like spared nerve branches following damage to vagal fibers. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that damage to the abdominal vagus would result in microglial activation in vagal structures-the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS), dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus nerve (DMV), and nodose ganglia (NG)-as well as spinal cord (SC) segments that innervate the abdominal viscera. To test this hypothesis, rats underwent subdiaphragmatic vagotomy or sham surgery and were treated with saline or the microglial inhibitor, minocycline. Microglial activation was determined by quantifying changes in the intensity of fluorescent staining with a primary antibody against ionizing calcium adapter binding molecule 1 (Iba1). We found that subdiaphragmatic vagotomy significantly activated microglia in the NTS, DMV, and NG two weeks post-vagotomy. Microglial activation remained significantly increased in the NG and DMV for at least 42 days. Surprisingly, vagotomy significantly decreased microglial activation in the SC. Minocycline treatment attenuated microglial activation in all studied areas. Our results indicate that microglial activation in vagal structures following abdominal vagal damage is accompanied by suppression of microglial activation in associated areas of the spinal cord.

Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

PMID:
22342909
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3302977
Free PMC Article

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