Accumulation of murine subretinal macrophages: effects of age, pigmentation and CX3CR1

Holly R Chinnery, Samuel McLenachan, Timothy Humphries, Jelena M Kezic, Xiangting Chen, Marc J Ruitenberg, Paul G McMenamin

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Macrophages or activated microglia in the subretinal space are considered a hallmark of some retinal pathologies. We investigated the effects of age, pigmentation and CX(3)CR1 deficiency on the accumulation of macrophages/activated microglia in the outer retina of young and old Cx(3)cr1(gfp/gfp) (CX(3)CR1-deficient) or Cx(3)cr1(gfp/+) mice on either a pigmented (C57BL/6) or albino (BALB/c) background. Quantitative analysis of immunostained retinal-choroidal whole mounts revealed an increase in subretinal macrophage (SRMPhi) numbers in young Cx(3)cr1(gfp/gfp) mice compared with Cx(3)cr1(gfp/+) mice, however the increase was more marked in albino Cx(3)cr1(gfp/gfp) mice. In aged mice, large numbers of SRMPhi/activated microglia replete with autofluorescent debris were noted in both old pigmented Cx(3)cr1(gfp/gfp) and Cx(3)cr1(gfp/+) mice proving this accumulation was not CX(3)CR1-dependent. While CX(3)CR1 deficiency leads to an early onset of SRMPhi accumulation, our data reveal that this change occurs in both aged Cx(3)cr1(gfp/+) and Cx(3)cr1(gfp/gfp) pigmented mice in the absence of marked retinal degeneration and is likely a normal response to aging.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1769 - 1776
Number of pages8
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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