P2Y12R-Dependent Translocation Mechanisms Gate the Changing Microglial Landscape

Cell Rep. 2018 Apr 24;23(4):959-966. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2018.04.001.


Microglia are an exquisitely tiled and self-contained population in the CNS that do not receive contributions from circulating monocytes in the periphery. While microglia are long-lived cells, the extent to which their cell bodies are fixed and the molecular mechanisms by which the microglial landscape is regulated have not been determined. Using chronic in vivo two-photon imaging to follow the microglial population in young adult mice, we document a daily rearrangement of the microglial landscape. Furthermore, we show that the microglial landscape can be modulated by severe seizures, acute injury, and sensory deprivation. Finally, we demonstrate a critical role for microglial P2Y12Rs in regulating the microglial landscape through cellular translocation independent of proliferation. These findings suggest that microglial patrol the CNS through both process motility and soma translocation.

Keywords: P2Y12; epilepsy; microglia; microglial landscape; seizures; two photon chronic imaging; whisker trimming.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Movement*
  • Cell Proliferation*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Microglia / cytology
  • Microglia / metabolism*
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence, Multiphoton
  • Receptors, Purinergic P2Y12 / genetics
  • Receptors, Purinergic P2Y12 / metabolism*


  • P2ry12 protein, mouse
  • Receptors, Purinergic P2Y12