{781} revision 10 modified: 01-29-2013 00:34 gmt

PMID-16198003[0] Response of brain tissue to chronically implanted neural electrodes

  • Good review (the kind where figures are taken from other papers). Nothing terribly new (upon a very cursory inspection)
  • When CNS damage severs blood vessels, microglia are indistinguishable from the blood borne, monocyte-derived macrophages that are recruited by the degranulation of platelets and the cellular release of cytokines.
  • Furthermore, microglia are known to secrete, either constitutively, or in response to pathological stimuli, neurotrophic factors that aid in neuronal survival and growth.
    • Also release cytotoxic and neurotoxic factors that can lead to neuronal death in vitro.
    • It has been suggested that the presence of insoluble materials in the brain may lead to a state of 'frustrated phagocytosis' or inability of the macrophages to remove the foreign body, resulting in persistent release of neurotoxic substances.
  • When a 10x10 array of silicon probes was implanted in feline cortex, 60% of the needle tracks showed evidence of hemorrhage and 25% showed edema upon explantation of the probes after one day (Schmidt et al 1993) {1163}
    • Although a large number of the tracks were affected, only 3-5% of the area was actually covered by hemorrhages and edema, suggesting the actual damage to blood vessels may have been relatively minor. (!!)
  • Excess fluid and cellular debris diminishes 6-8 days due to the action of activated microglia and re-absorption.
  • As testament to the transitory nature of this mechanically induced wound healing response, electrode tracks could not be found in animals after several months when the electrode was inerted and quickly removed (Yuen and Agnew 1995, Rousche et al 2001; Csicsvari et al 2003, Biran et al 2005).
  • Biran et al 2005: observed persistent ED-1 immunoreactivity around silicon microelectrode arrays implanted in rat cortex at 2 and 4 weeks following implantation; not seen in microelectrode stab wound controls.
  • On the glial scar:
    • observed in the CNS of all vertebrates, presumably to isolate damaged parts of the nervous system and maintain the integrity of the blood-brain barrier.
    • mostly composed of reactive astrocytes.
    • presumably the glial scar insulates electrodes from nearby neurons, hindering diffusion and increasing impedance.
  • On the meninges:
    • Meningeal fibroblasts, which also stain for vimentin, but not for GFAP, may migrate down the electrode shaft from the brain surface and form the early basis for the glial scar.
  • On recording quality:
    • Histological examination upon explantation revealed that every electrode with stable unit recordings had at least one large neuron near the electrode tip, while every electrode that was not able to record resolvable action potentials was explanted from a site with no large neurons nearby.
  • Perhaps the clearest example of this variability was observed in the in vivo response to plastic “mock electrodes” implanted in rabbit brain by Stensaas and Stensaas (1976) {1210} and explanted over the course of 2 years. They separated the response into three types: Type 1 was characterized by little to no gliosis with neurons adjacent to the implant, Type 2 had a reactive astrocyte zone, and Type 3 exhibited a layer of connective tissue between the reactive astrocyte layer and the implant, with neurons pushed more than 100 um away. All three responses are well documented in the literature; however this study found that the model electrodes produced all three types of reactions simultaneously,depending on where along the electrode one looked.

____References____

[0] Polikov VS, Tresco PA, Reichert WM, Response of brain tissue to chronically implanted neural electrodes.J Neurosci Methods 148:1, 1-18 (2005 Oct 15)