Featured Stain: Iba-1
Microglia and astrocytes are the primary glia cell types to display inflammation responses.
An antibody against Iba-1 (ionizing calcium binding adaptor molecule 1) reveals microglia regardless of its different activation states (surveillance, pro-inflammatory, anti-inflammatory, or in ‘recovery’ mode). Fortunately, Iba-1 does not appear to be species specific nor are the epitopes sensitive to time in formaldehyde.
Changes in microglia morphology allow the activation states vs. surveillance mode (a.k.a. resting) to be recognized. Microglia in a reactive state are quite hypertrophied and range from displaying enlarged cell bodies and more highly ramified processes to very enlarged cell bodies and no processes (ameobaform-like). Some, but not all, of the microglia in a reactive state will stain positive using an anti CD68 antibody. There are different clones of the CD68 antibodes that are species specific. For example, the FA11 clone works in mice and the ED1 clone works for rats.
Perturbations of the brain or spinal cord can trigger microglia to become reactive and cause microglia to release signaling factors that trigger astrocytes to react. Typically, following insult, changes in microglia morphology may take 3 days, whereas astrocytes respond 36-48 hours. There are circumstances, of course, for which these time ranges are quite different.
Shown below: Iba-1
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