Microglia are an exquisitely tiled and self-contained population in the CNS that do not receive contributions from circulating monocytes in the periphery. While microglia are long-lived cells, the extent to which their cell bodies are fixed and the molecular mechanisms by which the microglial landscape is regulated have not been determined. Using chronic in vivo two-photon imaging to follow the microglial population in young adult mice, we document a daily rearrangement of the microglial landscape. Furthermore, we show that the microglial landscape can be modulated by severe seizures, acute injury, and sensory deprivation. Finally, we demonstrate a critical role for microglial P2Y12Rs in regulating the microglial landscape through cellular translocation independent of proliferation. These findings suggest that microglial patrol the CNS through both process motility and soma translocation. Using a chronic in vivo imaging approach, Eyo et al. show that the physical positions of brain microglia change daily and that these changes increase following certain experimental manipulations. The mechanism underlying these changes involves cell translocation controlled by microglial-specific P2Y12 receptors.
- microglial landscape
- two photon chronic imaging
- whisker trimming
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)