An immortalized cell line expresses properties of activated microglial cells


  • V. Bocchini
  • R. Mazzolla
  • R. Barluzzi
  • E. Blasi
  • P. Sick
  • H. Kettenmann


  • Journal of Neuroscience Research


  • J Neurosci Res 31 (4): 616-621


  • Murine cultured microglial cells were immortalized after infection with a v-raf/v-myc recombinant retrovirus. This immortalized cell line (BV-2) shares properties with body macrophages with respect to the antigen profile, their phagocytic capacity and antimicrobial activity. BV-2 cells are not constitutively able to kill tumor cells in vitro, but acquire antitumor activity following an increase in [Ca++]i. BV-2 cells, like microglial cells, are however, distinct from peripheral macrophages by their expression of inwardly rectifying K+ channels in concert with a lack in outwardly rectifying K+ channels and the formation of spineous processes. The BV-2 cell line thus represents a suitable model for in vitro studies of activated microglial cells.