Intracellular calcium (Ca2+) has been shown to function as second messenger and to be associated with activation of different cell types including microglia. Previously, in human focal cerebral infarctions an early expression of macrophage-related protein-8 (MRP8/S100A8), a member of the Ca2+-binding S100-protein family, in microglia has been reported. On the other hand, a delayed activation of microglia was observed following traumatic brain injury (TBI). We therefore examined immunohistochemically microglial expression of MRP8 and allograft inflammatory factor-1 (AIF-1), identical to microglial response factor-1 (mrf-1) and ionized calcium binding adaptor molecule-1 (ibal) in human brains after TBI and in control brains. Both, MRP8 and AIF-1 are Ca2+-binding peptides which have been associated with microglial activation in experimental models and in human cerebral infarctions. Detection of AIF-1 in controls confirmed constitutive expression of this peptide in a subset of microglial cells. After TBI, the density of AIF-1+ microglia did not increase significantly. Lesional expression of AIF-1 did not significantly differ from other brain regions. Furthermore, following TBI, we found no significant differences in the density of AIF-1+ microglia as compared to controls. Microglial MRP8 expression was not detectable in controls and within the first 3 days post TBI, but increased rapidly after 3 days post TBI, suggesting a subpopulation of microglial cells to be AIF-1-/MRP8+. We conclude that the delayed expression of MRP8 and the lack of AIF-1 up-regulation in microglia after TBI is in contrast to ischemic brain lesions and might reflect different activation cascades of microglia.
- Allograft-inflammatory factor-1
- Macrophage-inhibiting factor related-protein-8/S100A8
- Microglia response factor-1
- Traumatic brain injury