Glial activation is not affected by the Aplec complex. Glial activation is an important feature of the VRA injury response, and potential differences between DA and Aplec rats following VRA were analyzed. Assessment of microglia activation by RT-PCR quantification of CD11b and Mrf-1 expression (F,G) and immunolabeling using Iba1 was performed (A-E), illustrating largely identical patterns between DA and Aplec rats, which suggests a similar degree of microglia activation. Microglia can be seen surrounding the motor neurons, here indicated with white arrows, which are also easily distinguished by their larger size and more diffusely stained nucleus (D,E). Also astrocyte activation, assessed by RT-PCR quantification of Gfap expression (L) and immunolabeling (H-K) illustrated similar patterns between the strains. Astrocytes can be seen surrounding the motor neurons; one motor neuron is marked with a white arrow (J,K). Micrographs B, C, H and I show an overview of the ipsilateral (IL) ventral horn, whereas A shows the contralateral (CL), healthy side, with clearly less microglial activation. The scale bars correspond to 40 μm. Aplec: antigen-presenting lectin-like receptor gene complex; CL: contralateral; IL: ipsilateral; RT-PCR: real-time polymerase chain reaction; VRA: ventral root avulsion.