Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor Alters Functional Properties of CA1 Hippocampal Neurons in Mouse Brain Slices. Academic Article uri icon


  • Neuroinflammation is implicated in a host of neurological insults, such as traumatic brain injury (TBI), ischemic stroke, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and epilepsy. The immune response to central nervous system (CNS) injury involves sequelae including the release of numerous cytokines and chemokines. Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF), is one such cytokine that is elevated following CNS injury, and is associated with the prognosis of TBI, and ischemic stroke. MIF has been identified in astrocytes and neurons, and some of the trophic actions of MIF have been related to its direct and indirect actions on astrocytes. However, the potential modulation of CNS neuronal function by MIF has not yet been explored. This study tests the hypothesis that MIF can directly influence hippocampal neuronal function. MIF was microinjected into the hippocampus and the genetically encoded calcium indicator, GCaMP6f, was used to measure Ca2+ events in acute adult mouse brain hippocampal slices. Results demonstrated that a single injection of 200 ng MIF into the hippocampus significantly increased baseline calcium signals in CA1 pyramidal neuron somata, and altered calcium responses to N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) + D-serine in pyramidal cell apical dendrites located in the stratum radiatum. These data are the first to show direct effects of MIF on hippocampal neurons and on NMDA receptor function. Considering that MIF is elevated after brain insults such as TBI, the data suggest that, in addition to the previously described role of MIF in astrocyte reactivity, elevated MIF can have significant effects on neuronal function in the hippocampus.

published proceedings

  • Int J Mol Sci

altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Bancroft, E., Srinivasan, R., & Shapiro, L. A.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Bancroft, Eric||Srinivasan, Rahul||Shapiro, Lee A

publication date

  • January 2019