Characterization of canine microglial cells isolated ex vivo.Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2004 May; 99(1-2):73-85.VI
Microglia are the principal immune effector elements of the brain sharing immunophenotypic and functional characteristics of macrophages as well as of antigen presenting cells (APCs). The purpose of this study was to isolate canine microglial cells and make them available for ex vivo characterizations of their functions and immunophenotype. After isolation, carried out by density gradient centrifugation, microglial cells accumulated on distinct interfaces of 1.077 and 1.066 g/ml of a Percoll gradient. Identification of microglial cells in other species is realized by their specific immunophenotype of CD11b/c+ and CD45low. Our results indicate, that expression of CD45 is very low or even absent in canine microglial cells. In addition, they expressed CD18 and CD11b/c+, as determined by flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry. Fourteen additional monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) were used to characterize and compare canine microglial cells with monocytes. Microglia and monocytes can be clearly distinguished by their differential expression intensity of surface antigens (CD45, CD44, CD14). Functional characterization was assessed by a reactive oxygen species (ROS)-generation test and phagocytosis assay using flow cytometry. In conclusion, ex vivo examination of microglia is possible in dogs and most probably reflects the conditions in vivo. The measurement of tissue culture artifacts can be largely avoided using this method.