Serum‑deprivation leads to activation‑like changes in primary microglia and BV‑2 cells but not astrocytes
Affiliations: Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Beijing Stomatological Hospital and School of Stomatology, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100050, P.R. China, Center for TMD and Orofacial Pain, Peking University School and Hospital of Stomatology, Beijing 100081, P.R. China
- Published online on: September 14, 2020 https://doi.org/10.3892/br.2020.1358
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The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of serum deprivation on primary microglia, BV‑2 cells and primary astrocytes. Cell morphology combined with the expression of phospho‑(p‑)38 and p‑extracellular signal‑regulated kinase (ERK) were assessed. Serum deprivation resulted in various alterations in the three cell cultures. Primary microglia and BV‑2 cells exhibited alterations indicative of activation under serum treatment, as well as lipopolysaccharide (LPS) treatment. However, astrocytes did not react as fast. Regarding morphology, the processes present on the primary microglia and BV‑2 cells became shorter and the cell bodies became larger, and more transparent vesicles were observed within the cell bodies, which indicated their increased phagocytic ability. At the protein level, p‑p38 expression increased quickly within 1 h in the primary microglia culture in response to LPS treatment. Furthermore, the expression levels of p‑p38 and p‑ERK were elevated in both primary microglia and BV‑2 cells under serum deprivation, as well as under LPS treatment, which was not observed in the primary astrocytes. These results suggest that serum deprivation may result in similar changes to cell morphology and the expression levels of p‑p38 and p‑ERK as LPS treatment in primary microglia and BV‑2 cells. These observations suggest that primary microglia and BV‑2 cells may become activated under serum deprivation, at least to a certain degree.