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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Thapsigargin induces microglial transformation from amoeboid to ramified type in vitro.

Microglia generally display amoeboid morphology under prevalent culture conditions. We found that cultured microglia derived from rat cerebral cortex undergo a morphological transformation from amoeboid to process-bearing microglia upon treatment with thapsigargin (TG), a specific Ca2+-ATPase inhibitor of endoplasmic reticulum. Microglial transformation was further enhanced by exposure of amoeboid microglia to serum-free (N2) medium containing TG (TG/N2 treatment). TG/N2-treated microglia showed a marked reduction in the activity of phagocytosis and showed down-regulated expression of MRF-1 or F4/80, which are markers for activated microglia. Thus, both morphological and physiological criteria suggest that TG promotes the ramification of amoeboid microglia in vitro. This method would be helpful in characterization of ramified microglia in vitro.[1]


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