Author(s): Sonetti D, Ottaviani E, Stefano GB
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Abstract 1. Evidence supporting the presence in the invertebrate nervous system of a class of glial cells resembling vertebrate microglia was obtained in the freshwater snail Planorbarius corneus. These cells are easily identified by their immunopositivity to anti-pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC)-derived peptide antibodies. 2. Invertebrate microglia, as in vertebrates, exhibit macrophage-like activity in vivo and in cell cultures. These cells respond to the trauma of ganglionic excision and their organotypic culture by leaving their location around neurons and moving to the lesion site from which they migrate in the culture dish. 3. In vitro, these microglia undergo conformational changes and show phagocytic properties in the presence of bacteria or lipopolysaccharide. The activated cells also express tumor necrosis factor-alpha-like material and an increase in nitric oxide synthase, as shown by immunocytochemistry. 4. The inhibitory effect of morphine on the mobility and phagocytic activity of invertebrate microglia provide additional functional evidence for a possible role of opiate-like compounds in downregulating immunoregulatory processes, as also observed in the circulating immunocytes.
This article was published in Gen Pharmacol
and referenced in Journal of Psychiatry