Helmholtz Gemeinschaft


Physiology of microglia

Item Type:Review
Title:Physiology of microglia
Creators Name:Kettenmann, H. and Hanisch, U.K. and Noda, M. and Verkhratsky, A.
Abstract:Microglial cells are the resident macrophages in the central nervous system. These cells of mesodermal/mesenchymal origin migrate into all regions of the central nervous system, disseminate through the brain parenchyma, and acquire a specific ramified morphological phenotype termed "resting microglia." Recent studies indicate that even in the normal brain, microglia have highly motile processes by which they scan their territorial domains. By a large number of signaling pathways they can communicate with macroglial cells and neurons and with cells of the immune system. Likewise, microglial cells express receptors classically described for brain-specific communication such as neurotransmitter receptors and those first discovered as immune cell-specific such as for cytokines. Microglial cells are considered the most susceptible sensors of brain pathology. Upon any detection of signs for brain lesions or nervous system dysfunction, microglial cells undergo a complex, multistage activation process that converts them into the "activated microglial cell." This cell form has the capacity to release a large number of substances that can act detrimental or beneficial for the surrounding cells. Activated microglial cells can migrate to the site of injury, proliferate, and phagocytose cells and cellular compartments.
Keywords:Biological Evolution, Brain, Calcium Signaling, Cell Movement, Central Nervous System, Chemokines, Cytokines, Ion Channels, Microglia, Neuronal Plasticity, Neurons, Neurotransmitter Receptors, Pattern Recognition Receptors, Phagocytosis, Signal Transduction, Animals
Source:Physiological Reviews
Publisher:American Physiological Society
Page Range:461-553
Date:April 2011
Official Publication:https://doi.org/10.1152/physrev.00011.2010
PubMed:View item in PubMed

Repository Staff Only: item control page

Open Access
MDC Library