Evaluation of M1-microglial activation by neurotoxic metals using optimized organotypic cerebral slice cultures

Takayuki Hoshi, Takashi Toyama, Youichi Shinozaki, Schuichi Koizumi, Jin Yong Lee, Akira Naganuma, Giwook Hwang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


M1-microglia (neurotoxic microglia) regulate neuronal development and cell death and are involved in many pathologies in the brain. Although organotypic brain slice cultures are widely used to study the crosstalk between neurons and microglia, little is known about the properties of microglia in the mouse cerebral cortex slices. Here, we aimed to optimize the mouse cerebral slice cultures that reflect microglial functions and evaluate the effects of neurotoxic metals on M1-microglial activation. Most microglia in the cerebral slices prepared from postnatal day (P) 7 mice were similar to mature microglia in adult mice brains, but those in the slices prepared from P2 mice were immature, which is a conventional preparation condition. The degree of expression of M1-microglial markers (CD16 and CD32) and inflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor-a and interleukin-1ß) by lipopolysaccharide, a representative microglia activator, in the cerebral slices of P7 mice were higher than that in the slices of P2 mice. These results indicate that M1-microglial activation can be evaluated more accurately in the cerebral slices of P7 mice than in those of P2 mice. Therefore, we next examined the effects of various neurotoxic metals on M1-microglial activation using the cerebral slices of P7 mice and found that methylmercury stimulated the activation to M1-microglia, but arsenite, lead, and tributyltin did not induce such activation. Altogether, the optimized mouse cerebral slice cultures used in this study can be a helpful tool to study the influence of various chemicals on the central nervous system in the presence of functionally mature microglia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-479
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Toxicological Sciences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Microglia
  • Mouse cerebral cortex
  • Neurotoxic metal
  • Organotypic slice cultures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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