Traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) induces irreversible autonomic and sensory-motor impairments. A large number of patients exhibit chronic SCI and no curative treatment is currently available. Microglia are predominant immune players after SCI, they undergo highly dynamic processes, including proliferation and morphological modification. In a translational aim, we investigated whether microglia proliferation persists at chronic stage after spinal cord hemisection and whether a brief pharmacological treatment could modulate microglial responses. We first carried out a time course analysis of SCI-induced microglia proliferation associated with morphological analysis up to 84 days post-injury (dpi). Second, we analyzed outcomes on microglia of an oral administration of GW2580, a colony stimulating factor-1 receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor reducing selectively microglia proliferation. After SCI, microglia proliferation remains elevated at 84 dpi. The percentage of proliferative microglia relative to proliferative cells increases over time reaching almost 50% at 84 dpi. Morphological modifications of microglia processes are observed up to 84 dpi and microglia cell body area is transiently increased up to 42 dpi. A transient post-injury GW2580-delivery at two chronic stages after SCI (42 and 84 dpi) reduces microglia proliferation and modifies microglial morphology evoking an overall limitation of secondary inflammation. Finally, transient GW2580-delivery at chronic stage after SCI modulates myelination processes. Together our study shows that there is a persistent microglia proliferation induced by SCI and that a pharmacological treatment at chronic stage after SCI modulates microglial responses. Thus, a transient oral GW2580-delivery at chronic stage after injury may provide a promising therapeutic strategy for chronic SCI patients.
Keywords: CSF1R pharmacological inhibition; GW2580; chronic stages; mice; microglia proliferation; spinal cord injury.
© 2023 The Authors. GLIA published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.