Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 102419, 15 pages
Research Article

Astroglia-Microglia Cross Talk during Neurodegeneration in the Rat Hippocampus

1Unitat de Bioquímica i Biologia Molecular, Facultat de Medicina, Institut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS), Universitat de Barcelona and Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red Sobre Enfermedades Neurodegenerativas (CIBERNED), C/Casanova 143, 08036 Barcelona, Spain
2Istituto di Anatomia Umana e Biologia Cellulare, Facoltà di Medicina e Chirurgia, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, 00168 Roma, Italy
3Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR), Passeig de la Vall d’Hebron 119, 08035 Barcelona, Spain

Received 13 October 2014; Revised 16 January 2015; Accepted 9 March 2015

Academic Editor: Liliana Bernardino

Copyright © 2015 Montserrat Batlle et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Brain injury triggers a progressive inflammatory response supported by a dynamic astroglia-microglia interplay. We investigated the progressive chronic features of the astroglia-microglia cross talk in the perspective of neuronal effects in a rat model of hippocampal excitotoxic injury. N-Methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) injection triggered a process characterized within 38 days by atrophy, neuronal loss, and fast astroglia-mediated S100B increase. Microglia reaction varied with the lesion progression. It presented a peak of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) secretion at one day after the lesion, and a transient YM1 secretion within the first three days. Microglial glucocorticoid receptor expression increased up to day 5, before returning progressively to sham values. To further investigate the astroglia role in the microglia reaction, we performed concomitant transient astroglia ablation with L-α-aminoadipate and NMDA-induced lesion. We observed a striking maintenance of neuronal death associated with enhanced microglial reaction and proliferation, increased YM1 concentration, and decreased TNF-α secretion and glucocorticoid receptor expression. S100B reactivity only increased after astroglia recovery. Our results argue for an initial neuroprotective microglial reaction, with a direct astroglial control of the microglial cytotoxic response. We propose the recovery of the astroglia-microglia cross talk as a tissue priority conducted to ensure a proper cellular coordination that retails brain damage.