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J Neuroimmunol. 2008 Jun 15;197(1):10-20. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2008.03.022. Epub 2008 May 20.

End-stage dying glioma cells are engulfed by mouse microglia with a strain-dependent efficacy.

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INSERM U701, German Cancer Research Centre, Program Infection and Cancer, INF 242, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.


Microglia phagocytic activity for apoptotic glioma cells is hardly analysed inspite of its relevance to tissue damage prevention. We provide evidence for a phosphatidylserine-independent clearance of mouse glioma cells at an advanced stage of death, suggesting microglia recognition of late apoptotic markers. Dying cells were immediately cleared or stayed for hours in that stage before engulfment occurred. This phagocytic activity was restricted to a microglia subset representing 30 to 70% of the population according to the used strain. Expression of receptors involved in late apoptotic markers recognition therefore seems confined to a subpopulation of microglia and to be strain-dependent.

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