Author(s): Bush TG, Puvanachandra N, Horner CH, Polito A, Ostenfeld T,
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Abstract Reactive astrocytes adjacent to a forebrain stab injury were selectively ablated in adult mice expressing HSV-TK from the Gfap promoter by treatment with ganciclovir. Injured tissue that was depleted of GFAP-positive astrocytes exhibited (1) a prolonged 25-fold increase in infiltration of CD45-positive leukocytes, including ultrastructurally identified monocytes, macrophages, neutrophils, and lymphocytes, (2) failure of blood-brain barrier (BBB) repair, (3) substantial neuronal degeneration that could be attenuated by chronic glutamate receptor blockade, and (4) a pronounced increase in local neurite outgrowth. These findings show that genetic targeting can be used to ablate scar-forming astrocytes and demonstrate roles for astrocytes in regulating leukocyte trafficking, repairing the BBB, protecting neurons, and restricting nerve fiber growth after injury in the adult central nervous system.
This article was published in Neuron
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology