Effects of lipoic acid on primary murine microglial cells

J Neuroimmunol. 2019 Sep 15;334:576972. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2019.576972. Epub 2019 May 27.


The anti-oxidant lipoic acid (LA) is beneficial in murine models of multiple sclerosis (MS) and has recently been shown to slow brain atrophy in secondary progressive MS. The mechanism of these effects by LA is incompletely understood but may involve effects on microglia. The objective of this study is to understand how LA affects microglial cells. We cultured primary microglial cells from C57BL/6 adult mice brains and stimulated the cells with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and interferon gamma (IFN-γ) in the presence or absence of LA. We demonstrate the inhibition of phagocytosis, rearrangement of actin, and formation of membrane blebs in stimulated microglia in the presence of LA. These experiments suggest that LA causes changes in microglial actin, which may lead to alterations in phagocytosis, mobility, and migration.

Keywords: Actin; Blebs; Cytoskeleton; Microglia; Phagocytosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Cell Movement / drug effects
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Female
  • Interferon-gamma / toxicity
  • Lipopolysaccharides / toxicity
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microglia / drug effects
  • Microglia / physiology*
  • Phagocytosis / drug effects
  • Phagocytosis / physiology*
  • Thioctic Acid / pharmacology*


  • Antioxidants
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Thioctic Acid
  • Interferon-gamma