Honorable Mention

Stroke Activated Microglia

Submitted by: Matthew Tobin

Program: Neuroscience

Division: Life Sciences

I study the interaction between inflammation and neurogenesis following ischemic stroke. More specifically, I am interested in the interplay between the response of microglia (the resident immune cells of the brain) to stroke and how that impacts the ability for neural stem/progenitor cells to provide long-term functional recovery following stroke. I am also interested in the potential for bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells to alter the response of both microglia and neural stem/progenitor cells to promote and enhance functional recovery after stroke. The image here depicts a microglia from the brain of a rat that was given a stroke and then treated with mesenchymal stem cells. The cell is stained for Iba1 (green) which marks all microglia, CD68 (red) which labels specifically activated microglia, and for DAPI (blue) which stains all cell nuclei. Following mesenchymal stem cell treatment, rat brains have substantially fewer activated microglia and animals demonstrate a more rapid and sustained functional improvement over animals that do not receive treatment.