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Neuroscience. 2003;117(3):531-9.

Migration of enhanced green fluorescent protein expressing bone marrow-derived microglia/macrophage into the mouse brain following permanent focal ischemia.

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Department of Neurology, Juntendo University School of Medicine, 2-1-1, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8421, Japan.


Brain ischemia induces a marked response of resident microglia and hematopoietic cells including monocytes/macrophages. The present study was designed to assess the distribution of microglia/macrophages in cerebral ischemia using bone marrow chimera mice known to express enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP). At 24 h after middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO), many round-shaped EGFP-positive cells migrated to the ischemic core and peri-infarct area. At 48-72 h after MCAO, irregular round- or oval-shaped EGFP/ionized calcium-binding adapter molecule 1 (Iba 1)-positive cells increased in the transition zone, while many amoeboid-shaped or large-cell-body EGFP/Iba 1-positive cells were increased in number in the innermost area of ischemia. At 7 days after MCAO, many process-bearing ramified shaped EGFP/Iba 1-positive cells were detected in the transition to the peri-infarct area, while phagocytic cells were distributed in the transition to the core area of the infarction. The distribution of these morphologically variable EGFP/Iba 1-positive cells was similar up to 14 days from MCAO. The present study directly showed the migration and distribution of bone marrow-derived monocytes/macrophages and the relationship between resident microglia and infiltrated hematogenous element in ischemic mouse brain. It is important to study the distribution of intrinsic and extrinsic microglia/macrophage in ischemic brain, since such findings may allow the design of appropriate gene-delivery system using exogenous microglia/macrophages to the ischemic brain area.

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