Chronic stress induced disturbances in Laminin: A significant contributor to modulating microglial pro-inflammatory tone? Academic Article uri icon


  • Over the last decade, evidence supporting a link between microglia enhanced neuro-inflammatory signalling and mood disturbance has continued to build. One issue that has not been well addressed yet are the factors that drive microglia to enter into a higher pro-inflammatory state. The current study addressed the potential role of the extracellular matrix protein Laminin. C57BL6 adult mice were either exposed to chronic stress or handled for 6 consecutive weeks. Changes in Laminin, microglial morphology and pro-inflammatory cytokine expression were examined in tissue obtained from mice exposed to a chronic restraint stress procedure. These in vivo investigations were complemented by an extensive set of in vitro experiments utilising both a primary microglia and BV2 cell line to examine how Laminin influenced microglial pro-inflammatory tone. Chronic stress enhanced the expression of Laminin, microglial de-ramification and pro-inflammatory cytokine signalling. We further identified that microglia when cultured in the presence of Laminin produced and released significantly greater levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines; took longer to return to baseline following stimulation and exhibited enhanced phagocytic activity. These results suggest that chronic restraint stress is capable of modulating Laminin within the CNS, an effect that has implications for understanding environmental mediated disturbances of microglial function.


  • Pietrogrande, Giovanni
  • Mabotuwana, Nishani
  • Zhao, Zidan
  • Abdolhoseini, Mahmoud
  • Johnson, Sarah J
  • Nilsson, Michael
  • Walker, Frederick R

publication date

  • 2018