Microglia knockdown reduces inflammation and preserves cognition in diabetic animals after experimental stroke

Ladonya Jackson, Selin Dumanli, Maribeth H. Johnson, Susan C. Fagan, Adviye Ergul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Introduction: Unfortunately, over 40% of stroke victims have pre-existing diabetes which not only increases their risk of stroke up to 2-6 fold, but also worsens both functional recovery and the severity of cognitive impairment. Our lab has recently linked the chronic inflammation in diabetes to poor functional outcomes and exacerbated cognitive impairment, also known as post-stroke cognitive impairment (PSCI). Although we have shown that the development of PSCI in diabetes is associated with the upregulation and the activation of pro-inflammatory microglia, we have not established direct causation between the two. To this end, we evaluated the role of microglia in the development of PSCI. Methods: At 13 weeks of age, diabetic animals received bilateral intracerebroventricular (ICV) injections of short hairpin RNA (shRNA) lentiviral particles targeting the colony stimulating factor 1 receptor (CSF1R). After 14 days, animals were subjected to 60 min middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) or sham surgery. Adhesive removal task (ART), novel object recognition (NOR), and 2-trial Y-maze were utilized to evaluate sensorimotor and cognitive function. Tissue from freshly harvested brains was analyzed by flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry. Results: CSF1R silencing resulted in a 94% knockdown of residential microglia to relieve inflammation and improve myelination of white matter in the brain. This prevented cognitive decline in diabetic animals. Conclusion: Microglial activation after stroke in diabetes may be causally related to the development of delayed neurodegeneration and PSCI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number137
JournalJournal of Neuroinflammation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 28 2020


  • Colony stimulating factor 1 receptor CSF1R
  • Diabetes
  • Microglia
  • Post-stroke cognitive impairment
  • shRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Immunology
  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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