As the resident macrophages of the brain and spinal cord, microglia are crucial for the phagocytosis of infectious agents, apoptotic cells and synapses. During brain injury or infection, bone-marrow derived macrophages invade neural tissue, making it difficult to distinguish between invading macrophages and resident microglia. In addition to circulation-derived monocytes, other non-microglial central nervous system (CNS) macrophage subtypes include border-associated meningeal, perivascular and choroid plexus macrophages. Using immunofluorescent labeling, flow cytometry and Cre-dependent ribosomal immunoprecipitations, we describe P2ry12-CreER, a new tool for the genetic targeting of microglia. We use this new tool to track microglia during embryonic development and in the context of ischemic injury and neuro-inflammation. Because of the specificity and robustness of microglial recombination with P2ry12-CreER, we believe that this new mouse line will be particularly useful for future studies of microglial function in development and disease.
- Thomas D Arnold
- Nicolas Santander
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All mouse work was performed in accordance with UCSF Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee protocols (#AN177934-01).
- Isaac M Chiu, Harvard Medical School, United States
© 2020, McKinsey et al.
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