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      Immune cell regulation of glia during CNS injury and disease

      , ,
      Nature Reviews Neuroscience
      Springer Science and Business Media LLC

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          Abstract

          Glial cells are abundant in the CNS and are essential for brain development and homeostasis. These cells also regulate tissue recovery after injury and their dysfunction is a possible contributing factor to neurodegenerative and psychiatric disease. Recent evidence suggests that microglia, which are also the brain's major resident immune cells, provide disease-modifying regulation of the other major glial populations, namely astrocytes and oligodendrocytes. In addition, peripheral immune cells entering the CNS after injury and in disease may directly affect microglial, astrocyte and oligodendrocyte function, suggesting an integrated network of immune cell-glial cell communication.

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          Most cited references140

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          Microglia Function in the Central Nervous System During Health and Neurodegeneration.

          Microglia are resident cells of the brain that regulate brain development, maintenance of neuronal networks, and injury repair. Microglia serve as brain macrophages but are distinct from other tissue macrophages owing to their unique homeostatic phenotype and tight regulation by the central nervous system (CNS) microenvironment. They are responsible for the elimination of microbes, dead cells, redundant synapses, protein aggregates, and other particulate and soluble antigens that may endanger the CNS. Furthermore, as the primary source of proinflammatory cytokines, microglia are pivotal mediators of neuroinflammation and can induce or modulate a broad spectrum of cellular responses. Alterations in microglia functionality are implicated in brain development and aging, as well as in neurodegeneration. Recent observations about microglia ontogeny combined with extensive gene expression profiling and novel tools to study microglia biology have allowed us to characterize the spectrum of microglial phenotypes during development, homeostasis, and disease. In this article, we review recent advances in our understanding of the biology of microglia, their contribution to homeostasis, and their involvement in neurodegeneration. Moreover, we highlight the complexity of targeting microglia for therapeutic intervention in neurodegenerative diseases. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Immunology Volume 35 is April 26, 2017. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.
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            The Microglial Sensome Revealed by Direct RNA Sequencing

            Microglia, the principal neuroimmune sentinels of the brain, continuously sense changes in their environment and respond to invading pathogens, toxins and cellular debris. Microglia exhibit plasticity and can assume neurotoxic or neuroprotective priming states that determine their responses to danger. We used direct RNA sequencing, without amplification or cDNA synthesis, to determine the quantitative transcriptomes of microglia of healthy adult and aged mice. We validated our findings by fluorescent dual in-situ hybridization, unbiased proteomic analysis and quantitative PCR. We report here that microglia have a distinct transcriptomic signature and express a unique cluster of transcripts encoding proteins for sensing endogenous ligands and microbes that we term the “sensome”. With aging, sensome transcripts for endogenous ligand recognition are downregulated, whereas those involved in microbe recognition and host defense are upregulated. In addition, aging is associated with an overall increase in expression of microglial genes involved in neuroprotection.
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              Microglial and macrophage polarization—new prospects for brain repair.

              The traditional view of the adult brain as a static organ has changed in the past three decades, with the emergence of evidence that it remains plastic and has some regenerative capacity after injury. In the injured brain, microglia and macrophages clear cellular debris and orchestrate neuronal restorative processes. However, activation of these cells can also hinder CNS repair and expand tissue damage. Polarization of macrophage populations toward different phenotypes at different stages of injury might account for this dual role. This Perspectives article highlights the specific roles of polarized microglial and macrophage populations in CNS repair after acute injury, and argues that therapeutic approaches targeting cerebral inflammation should shift from broad suppression of microglia and macrophages towards subtle adjustment of the balance between their phenotypes. Breakthroughs in the identification of regulatory molecules that control these phenotypic shifts could ultimately accelerate research towards curing brain disorders.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Reviews Neuroscience
                Nat Rev Neurosci
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                1471-003X
                1471-0048
                February 10 2020
                Article
                10.1038/s41583-020-0263-9
                32042145
                59202814-25a9-4586-b3b0-384cd6f62068
                © 2020

                http://www.springer.com/tdm

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