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Cell Immunol. 2009;259(1):105-10. doi: 10.1016/j.cellimm.2009.06.005. Epub 2009 Jun 10.

Effects of macrophage colony-stimulating factor on microglial responses to lipopolysaccharide and beta amyloid.

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Immunology Unit, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Malaysia.


A challenge for studies involving microglia cultures is obtaining sufficient cells for downstream experiments. Macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF) has been used to improve yield of microglia in culture. However, the effects of M-CSF on activation profiles of microglia cultures are still unclear. Microglia activation is characterised by upregulation of co-stimulatory molecules and an inflammatory phenotype. The aim of this study is to demonstrate whether M-CSF supplementation alters microglial responses in resting and activated conditions. Microglia derived from mixed glia cultures and the BV-2 microglia cell line were cultivated with/without M-CSF and activated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and beta amyloid (Abeta). We show M-CSF expands primary microglia without affecting microglial responses to LPS and Abeta, as shown by the comparable expression of MHC class II and CD40 to microglia grown without this growth factor. M-CSF supplementation in BV-2 cells had no effect on nitric oxide (NO) production. Therefore, M-CSF can be considered for improving microglia yield in culture without introducing activation artefacts.

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