Microglial Morphology Across Distantly Related Species: Phylogenetic, Environmental and Age Influences on Microglia Reactivity and Surveillance States


Dario Carvalho-Paulo, Universidade Federal do Pará
João Bento Torres Neto, Universidade Federal do Pará
Carlos Santos Filho, Universidade Federal do Pará
Thais Cristina Galdino de Oliveira, Universidade Federal do Pará
Aline Andrade de Sousa, Universidade Federal do Pará
Renata Rodrigues dos Reis, Universidade Federal do Pará
Zaire Alves dos Santos, Universidade Federal do Pará
Camila Mendes de Lima, Universidade Federal do Pará
Marcus Augusto de Oliveira, Universidade Federal do Pará
Nivin Mazen Said, Universidade Federal do Pará
Sinara Franco Freitas, Universidade Federal do Pará
Marcia Consentino Kronka Sosthenes, Universidade Federal do Pará
Giovanni Freitas Gomes, Universidade Federal do Pará
Ediely Pereira Henrique, Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciéncia e Tecnologia do Pará
Patrick Douglas Côrrea Pereira, Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciéncia e Tecnologia do Pará
Lucas Silva de Siqueira, Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciéncia e Tecnologia do Pará
Mauro André Damasceno de Melo, Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciéncia e Tecnologia do Pará
Cristovam Guerreiro Diniz, Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciéncia e Tecnologia do Pará
Nara Gyzely de Morais Magalhães, Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciéncia e Tecnologia do Pará
José Antonio Picanço Diniz, Instituto Evandro Chagas
Pedro Fernando da Costa Vasconcelos, Instituto Evandro Chagas
Daniel Guerreiro Diniz, Universidade Federal do Pará
Daniel Clive Anthony, University of Oxford Medical Sciences Division
David Francis Sherry, The University of Western OntarioFollow
Dora Brites, Faculdade de Farmácia, Universidade de Lisboa
Cristovam Wanderley Picanço Diniz, Universidade Federal do Pará

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Frontiers in Immunology



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Microglial immunosurveillance of the brain parenchyma to detect local perturbations in homeostasis, in all species, results in the adoption of a spectrum of morphological changes that reflect functional adaptations. Here, we review the contribution of these changes in microglia morphology in distantly related species, in homeostatic and non-homeostatic conditions, with three principal goals (1): to review the phylogenetic influences on the morphological diversity of microglia during homeostasis (2); to explore the impact of homeostatic perturbations (Dengue virus challenge) in distantly related species (Mus musculus and Callithrix penicillata) as a proxy for the differential immune response in small and large brains; and (3) to examine the influences of environmental enrichment and aging on the plasticity of the microglial morphological response following an immunological challenge (neurotropic arbovirus infection). Our findings reveal that the differences in microglia morphology across distantly related species under homeostatic condition cannot be attributed to the phylogenetic origin of the species. However, large and small brains, under similar non-homeostatic conditions, display differential microglial morphological responses, and we argue that age and environment interact to affect the microglia morphology after an immunological challenge; in particular, mice living in an enriched environment exhibit a more efficient immune response to the virus resulting in earlier removal of the virus and earlier return to the homeostatic morphological phenotype of microglia than it is observed in sedentary mice.