Microglia Maintain Homeostatic Conditions in the Developing Rostral Migratory Stream

eNeuro. 2023 Feb 8;10(2):ENEURO.0197-22.2023. doi: 10.1523/ENEURO.0197-22.2023. Print 2023 Feb.


Microglia invade the neuroblast migratory corridor of the rostral migratory stream (RMS) early in development. The early postnatal RMS does not yet have the dense astrocyte and vascular scaffold that helps propel forward migrating neuroblasts, which led us to consider whether microglia help regulate conditions permissive to neuroblast migration in the RMS. GFP-labeled microglia in CX3CR-1GFP/+ mice assemble primarily along the outer borders of the RMS during the first postnatal week, where they exhibit predominantly an ameboid morphology and associate with migrating neuroblasts. Microglia ablation for 3 d postnatally does not impact the density of pulse labeled BrdU+ neuroblasts nor the distance migrated by tdTomato electroporated neuroblasts in the RMS. However, microglia wrap DsRed-labeled neuroblasts in the RMS of P7 CX3CR-1GFP/+;DCXDsRed/+ mice and express the markers CD68, CLEC7A, MERTK, and IGF-1, suggesting active regulation in the developing RMS. Microglia depletion for 14 d postnatally further induced an accumulation of CC3+ DCX+ apoptotic neuroblasts in the RMS, a wider RMS and extended patency of the lateral ventricle extension in the olfactory bulb. These findings illustrate the importance of microglia in maintaining a healthy neuroblast population and an environment permissive to neuroblast migration in the early postnatal RMS.

Keywords: development; microglia; rostral migratory stream.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Movement / physiology
  • Lateral Ventricles
  • Mice
  • Microglia*
  • Neural Stem Cells* / physiology
  • Olfactory Bulb / physiology