Intracortical microelectrodes afford researchers an effective tool to precisely monitor neural spiking activity. Additionally, intracortical microelectrodes have the ability to return function to individuals with paralysis as part of a brain computer interface. Unfortunately, the neural signals recorded by these electrodes degrade over time. Many strategies which target the biological and/or materials mediating failure modes of this decline of function are currently under investigation. The goal of this study is to identify a precise cellular target for future intervention to sustain chronic intracortical microelectrode performance. Previous work from our lab has indicated that the Cluster of Differentiation 14/Toll-like receptor pathway (CD14/TLR) is a viable target to improve chronic laminar, silicon intracortical microelectrode recordings. Here, we use a mouse bone marrow chimera model to selectively knockout CD14, an innate immune receptor, from either brain resident microglia or blood-derived macrophages, in order to understand the most effective targets for future therapeutic options. Using single-unit recordings we demonstrate that inhibiting CD14 from the blood-derived macrophages improves recording quality over the 16 week long study. We conclude that targeting CD14 in blood-derived cells should be part of the strategy to improve the performance of intracortical microelectrodes, and that the daunting task of delivering therapeutics across the blood-brain barrier may not be needed to increase intracortical microelectrode performance.
Keywords: CD14; Electrophysiology; Gliosis; Innate immunity; Intracortical microelectrodes; Neuroinflammation.
Published by Elsevier Ltd.