Stress exacerbates neuron loss and microglia proliferation in a rat model of excitotoxic lower motor neuron injury.

TitleStress exacerbates neuron loss and microglia proliferation in a rat model of excitotoxic lower motor neuron injury.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
JournalBrain, behavior, and immunity
Volume49
Pagination246-54
Date Published2015 Oct
ISSN0889-1591
AbstractAll individuals experience stress and hormones (e.g., glucocorticoids/GCs) released during stressful events can affect the structure and function of neurons. These effects of stress are best characterized for brain neurons; however, the mechanisms controlling the expression and binding affinity of glucocorticoid receptors in the spinal cord are different than those in the brain. Accordingly, whether stress exerts unique effects on spinal cord neurons, especially in the context of pathology, is unknown. Using a controlled model of focal excitotoxic lower motor neuron injury in rats, we examined the effects of acute or chronic variable stress on spinal cord motor neuron survival and glial activation. New data indicate that stress exacerbates excitotoxic spinal cord motor neuron loss and associated activation of microglia. In contrast, hypertrophy and hyperplasia of astrocytes and NG2+ glia were unaffected or were modestly suppressed by stress. Although excitotoxic lesions cause significant motor neuron loss and stress exacerbates this pathology, overt functional impairment did not develop in the relevant forelimb up to one week post-lesion. These data indicate that stress is a disease-modifying factor capable of altering neuron and glial responses to pathological challenges in the spinal cord.
URLhttps://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0889-1591(15)00159-2
DOI10.1016/j.bbi.2015.06.006
PubMed Linkhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26100488?dopt=Abstract
Short TitleBrain Behav Immun