Microglia

Microglia are a type of glial cell that are the resident macrophages of the brain and spinal cord, and thus act as the first and main form of active immune defense in the central nervous system (CNS). Microglia constitute 20% of the total glial cell population within the brain. Microglia (and astrocytes) are distributed in large non-overlapping regions throughout the brain and spinal cord. Microglia are constantly scavenging the CNS for plaques,damaged neurons, and infectious agents. The brain and spinal cord are considered "immune privileged" organs in that they are separated from the rest of the body by a series of endothelial cells known as the blood–brain barrier, which prevents most infections from reaching the vulnerable nervous tissue. In the case where infectious agents are directly introduced to the brain or cross the blood–brain barrier, microglial cells must react quickly to decrease inflammation and destroy the infectious agents before they damage the sensitive neural tissue. Due to the unavailability of antibodies from the rest of the body (few antibodies are small enough to cross the blood brain barrier), microglia must be able to recognize foreign bodies, swallow them, and act as antigen-presenting cells activating T-cells. Since this process must be done quickly to prevent potentially fatal damage, microglia are extremely sensitive to even small pathological changes in the CNS. They achieve this sensitivity in part by having unique potassium channels that respond to even small changes in extracellular potassium.

  • Microglia - ramified form from rat cortex after traumatic brain injury (lactins staining with HRP)

  • Microglia/Macrophage - activated form from rat cortex after traumatic brain injury (lactins staining with HRP)

Read more about Microglia:  Origin, History, Types, Functions, Role in Chronic Neuroinflammation, Aging, Role of Microglia in Neurodegeneration, Role in Bacterial Infections

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Microglia - As A Target To Treat Neuroinflammation - Inhibition of Cytokine Synthesis
... inhibit TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 in rat microglia ... in controlling the expression of cytokines in microglia and may be important in developing drugs to treat neurodegenerative diseases ... Naltrexone may pose a solution to the inflammatory mediators produced by microglia ...
Gitter Cell - As A Target To Treat Neuroinflammation - Inhibition of Activation
... Studies on microglia have shown that they are activated by diverse stimuli but they are dependent on activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) ... Previous approaches to down-regulate activated microglia focused on immunosuppressants ... cytokines and superoxide anion by activated microglia ...
Glial Scar - Scar Components - Microglia
... Microglia are the second most prominent cell type present within the glial scar ... Microglia rapidly activate near the injury and secrete several cytokines, bioactive lipids, coagulation factors, reactive oxygen intermediates, and neurotrophic factors ...
AIF1 - Gene
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