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Glia. 2008 Aug 1;56(10):1039-47. doi: 10.1002/glia.20677.

Differential neutrophil infiltration contributes to regional differences in brain inflammation in the substantia nigra pars compacta and cortex.

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Neuroscience Graduate Program, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea.


Brain inflammation is a suggested risk factor for neurodegenerative disease. Interestingly, severe inflammation in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) accelerates the onset and progression of Parkinson's disease. In this study, we examined the underlying mechanisms of severe inflammation in the SNpc by comparing the inflammatory process with that in the cortex. In intact brain, the densities of CD11b(+) microglia were similar in the SNpc and cortex. However, lipopolysaccharide injection enhanced the CD11b(+) cell number in the SNpc, but not in the cortex. Previously, we reported that CD11b and myeloperoxidase (MPO) double-positive neutrophils infiltrate the SNpc following LPS injection (GLIA 55:1577-88). Notably, the MPO(+) neutrophil number increased dramatically in the SNpc, but only slightly in the cortex. The extent of neutrophil infiltration appeared to correlate with neuronal damage. We confirmed that loss of neurons in the SNpc was significantly reduced in neutropenic rats versus normal rats following LPS injection. In addition, the densities of astrocytes were much lower in the intact SNpc, compared with the cortex. Furthermore, after LPS injection, damage of endothelial cells and astrocytes, and blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability was more pronounced in the SNpc. These results collectively suggest that excessive neutrophil infiltration and environmental factors, such as lower astrocyte density and higher BBB permeability, contribute to severe inflammation and neuronal death in the SNpc.

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