A comparative review of cell culture systems for the study of microglial biology in Alzheimer’s disease
1 Department of Neurosciences, University of Toledo Medical Center, Toledo, OH, USA
2 Oklahoma School for Science and Mathematics, Oklahoma City, OK, USA
3 Department of Pathology, University of Toledo Medical Center, Toledo, OH, USA
4 MS 1090, University of Toledo Health Science Center, 3000 Arlington Avenue, Toledo, OH, 43614, USA
Journal of Neuroinflammation 2012, 9:115 doi:10.1186/1742-2094-9-115Published: 31 May 2012
Over the past two decades, it has become increasingly apparent that Alzheimer’s disease neuropathology is characterized by activated microglia (brain resident macrophages) as well as the classic features of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. The intricacy of microglial biology has also become apparent, leading to a heightened research interest in this particular cell type. Over the years a number of different microglial cell culturing techniques have been developed to study either primary mammalian microglia, or immortalized cell lines. Each microglial system has advantages and disadvantages and should be selected for its appropriateness in a particular research context. This review summarizes several of the most common microglial cell culture systems currently being employed in Alzheimer’s research including primary microglia; BV2 and N9 retroviral immortalized microglia; human immortalized microglia (HMO6); and spontaneously immortalized rodent microglial lines (EOC lines and HAPI cells). Particularities of cell culture requirements and characteristics of microglial behavior, especially in response to applied inflammogen stimuli, are compared and discussed across these cell types.