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Ketamine/xylazine and barbiturates modulate microglial morphology and motility differently in a mouse model

Abstract : Microglia, the resident immune cells of the brain, are highly ramified and motile and their morphology is strongly linked to their function. Microglia constantly monitor the brain parenchyma and are crucial for maintaining brain homeostasis and fine-tuning neuronal networks. Besides affecting neurons, anesthetics may have wide-ranging effects mediated by non-neuronal cells and in particular microglia. We thus examined the effect of two commonly used anesthetic agents, ketamine/xylazine and barbiturates, on microglial motility and morphology. A combination of two-photon in vivo imaging and electroencephalography (EEG) recordings in unanesthetized and anesthetized mice as well as automated analysis of ex vivo sections were used to assess morphology and dynamics of microglia. We found that administration of ketamine/xylazine and pentobarbital anesthesia resulted in quite distinct EEG profiles. Both anesthetics reduced microglial motility, but only ketamine/xylazine administration led to reduction of microglial complexity in vivo. The change of cellular dynamics in vivo was associated with a region-dependent reduction of several features of microglial cells ex vivo, such as the complexity index and the ramification length, whereas thiopental altered the size of the cytoplasm. Our results show that anesthetics have considerable effects on neuronal activity and microglial morphodynamics and that barbiturates may be a preferred anesthetic agent for the study of microglial morphology. These findings will undoubtedly raise compelling questions about the functional relevance of anesthetics on microglial cells in neuronal physiology and anesthesia-induced neurotoxicity.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, October 20, 2020 - 4:08:01 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, May 10, 2022 - 3:04:03 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Thursday, January 21, 2021 - 7:18:13 PM


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Ines Hristovska, Franck Verdonk, Jean-Christophe Comte, Eileen S Tsai, Virginie Desestret, et al.. Ketamine/xylazine and barbiturates modulate microglial morphology and motility differently in a mouse model. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2020, 15 (8), pp.e0236594. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0236594⟩. ⟨inserm-02972778⟩



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