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    To understand the role of microglia in brain function and development, methods have emerged to deplete microglia throughout the brain. Liposome-encapsulated clodronate (LEC) can be infused into the brain to deplete microglia in a brain-region and time-specific manner. This study validates methodology to deplete microglia in the rat dorsal hippocampus (dHP) during a specific period of juvenile development. Stereotaxic surgery was performed to infuse LEC at postnatal day (P) 16 or 19 into dHP. Rat brains were harvested at various ages to determine specificity of infusion and duration of depletion. P19 infusion of LEC into dHP with a 27G syringe depleted microglia in dHP subregions CA1, dentate gyrus (DG), and CA3 from P24-P30. There was also evidence of depletion in parietal cortex above the infusion site. P16 infusion of LEC with a 32 G syringe depleted microglia only in dHP subregions CA1 and DG from P21-P40. Previous methods have infused LEC intra-hippocampally in adult rats or intra-cerebroventricularly in neonatal rats. This study is the first to publish methodology to deplete microglia in a brain-region specific manner during juvenile rat development. The timing of LEC infusion during the juvenile period can be adjusted to achieve maximal microglia depletion by a specific postnatal day. A 27G needle results in LEC backflow during the infusion, but also allows LEC to reach all subregions of dHP. Infusion with a 32 G needle prevents backflow during infusion, but results in a more local spread of LEC within dHP. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


    Mary Beth Hall, Nicola M Habash, Nicole A Haas, Jaclyn M Schwarz. A method for the selective depletion of microglia in the dorsal hippocampus in the juvenile rat brain. Journal of neuroscience methods. 2022 May 15;374:109567

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    PMID: 35306037

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