eCite Digital Repository

Rod Microglia: A Morphological Definition


Taylor, SE and Morganti-Kossmann, C and Jonathon, L and Ziebell, JM, Rod Microglia: A Morphological Definition, PLoS One, 9, (5) Article e97096. ISSN 1932-6203 (2014) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0097096


Brain microglial morphology relates to function, with ramified microglia surveying the micro-environment and amoeboid microglia engulfing debris. One subgroup of microglia, rod microglia, have been observed in a number of pathological conditions, however neither a function nor specific morphology has been defined. Historically, rod microglia have been described intermittently as cells with a sausage-shaped soma and long, thin processes, which align adjacent to neurons. More recently, our group has described rod microglia aligning end-to-end with one another to form trains adjacent to neuronal processes. Confusion in the literature regarding rod microglia arises from some reports referring to the sausageshaped cell body, while ignoring the spatial distribution of processes. Here, we systematically define the morphological characteristics of rod microglia that form after diffuse brain injury in the rat, which differ morphologically from the spurious rod microglia found in uninjured sham. Rod microglia in the diffuse-injured rat brain show a ratio of 1.7960.03 cell length:cell width at day 1 post-injury, which increases to 3.3560.05 at day 7, compared to sham (1.1760.02). The soma length:width differs only at day 7 post-injury (2.9260.07 length:width), compared to sham (2.4960.05). Further analysis indicated that rod microglia may not elongate in cell length but rather narrow in cell width, and retract planar (side) processes. These morphological characteristics serve as a tool for distinguishing rod microglia from other morphologies. The function of rod microglia remains enigmatic; based on morphology we propose origins and functions for rod microglia after acute neurological insult, which may provide biomarkers or therapeutic targets.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Neurosciences
Research Field:Neurosciences not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Ziebell, JM (Dr Jenna Ziebell)
ID Code:101714
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:53
Deposited By:Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2015-07-02
Last Modified:2017-11-06
Downloads:258 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page