Document Type


Publication Date



School of Medicine


Physiology, Pharmacology & Neuroscience


Social isolation presents a risk factor and worsens outcome to cerebrovascular diseases; however, the underlying mechanisms remain underspecified. This study examines the effect of social environment on microglial reactivity after global cerebral ischemia, to test the hypothesis that social isolation leads to greater microglial responses. Adult female and male mice were pair-housed or socially isolated for one week prior to cardiac arrest/cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CA/CPR) or the sham procedure, and following either 2 or 24 hours of reperfusion, microglia samples were enriched and analyzed for gene expression. At the 2-hour time point, microglia from both females and males exhibited ischemia-induced inflammation, characterized by the gene expression increase of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin 1 beta (IL-1β) and interleukin 6 (IL-6), regardless of the housing conditions. However, at 24 hours post-ischemia, social housing attenuated microglial pro-inflammatory gene expression in a sex-specific manner. At this time point, the ischemia-induced increased expression of IL-1β and IL-6 was attenuated by social interaction in microglia from male mice, while among female mice social attenuation of the inflammatory response was observed in the microglial expression of cell surface protein major histocompatibility complex II (MHC II). A second study examined behavioral and physiological measures 96 hours after ischemic injury. At this time point, female and male mice displayed increased locomotion and exploratory behavior following CA/CPR relative to controls. Regardless of sex, ischemia also elicited neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration, both of which were modulated by the social environment. Hippocampal nitric oxide (iNOS), cortical TNF-α, and counts of Fluoro-Jade C positive stained cells in the CA1 region of the hippocampus, were increased in the isolated CA/CPR group relative to sham controls and the pair-housed CA/CPR groups. Together, these data indicate that female and male mice exhibit similar outcome measures and social modulation at 96 hours post-ischemic injury, nonetheless, that social environment influences microglial reactivity to global cerebral ischemia in a sex-specific manner.

Source Citation

Gaudier-Diaz MM, Haines AH, Zhang N, DeVries AC. Social influences on microglial reactivity and neuronal damage after cardiac arrest/cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Physiology & Behavior. 2018;194:437-449. doi:10.1016/j.physbeh.2018.06.012