Authors: Jade Parker (Future Science Group)
Several studies presented at SfN Neuroscience (19–23 October 2019, Chicago, IL, USA) have shed light on how changes in microglia impact both neuroinflammation and disease pathology in mice.
“This represents research that helps us understand the underpinnings and mechanisms of neuroinflammation,” commented press conference moderator, Donna Wilcock (University of Kentucky, KY, USA). “We are only beginning to understand the complex interplay between the immune system and the brain, and we don’t yet know how to manipulate it effectively. This research will further our understanding of these challenges and find a way forward to treat patients with inflammation due to disease or injury.”
Could an inflamed cerebellum be linked to behavioral disorders in mice?
In a mouse model, researchers have discovered that immune activity in the cerebellum induces neuronal hyperexcitability and disrupts psychomotor behaviors.
It is well established that cerebellar dysfunction is involved in various psychiatric disorders, including autism spectrum and depressive disorders, however, our understanding of the physiological aspect is less advanced.
In this study, the team of researchers utilized activated microglia that had been exposed to bacteria, which induced intrinsic excitability in Purkinje neurons. The team observed that this excitability was suppressed by microglia activity inhibitor and microglia depletion and that the release of TNFα triggered this plasticity.