An Intimate Role for Adult Dorsal Root Ganglia Resident Cycling Cells in the Generation of Local Macrophages and Satellite Glial Cells

J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2018 Oct 1;77(10):929-941. doi: 10.1093/jnen/nly072.


The intricate interactions between neurons, glial, and inflammatory cells within peripheral ganglia are physiologically important, but not well explored. Here, we show that adult dorsal root ganglia (DRG) contain populations of self-renewing cells, collectively referred as DRG resident cycling cells (DRCCs), that are active not only in "quiescent" ganglia but also accelerate their turnover in response to distal axotomy. An unexpected proportion of DRCCs were resident macrophages. These cells closely accompanied, and aligned with recycling satellite glial cells (SGCs) that were juxtaposed to sensory neurons and possessed stem cell-like properties. Selective inhibition of colony stimulating factor 1 receptor prevented the local proliferation of macrophages. Interestingly, DRCC turnover was accompanied by apoptosis at later intervals indicating a balanced cellular milieu in the DRGs. These findings identify a complex interactive multicellular DRG microenvironment supporting self-renewal of both macrophages and SGCs and its potential implications in the overall response of adult DRGs to injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Coculture Techniques
  • Ganglia, Spinal / cytology*
  • Ganglia, Spinal / physiology*
  • Macrophages / physiology*
  • Male
  • Neuroglia / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Satellite Cells, Perineuronal / physiology*