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      Microglia and macrophages in brain homeostasis and disease

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      Nature Reviews Immunology

      Springer Nature

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          Abstract

          Microglia and non-parenchymal macrophages in the brain are mononuclear phagocytes that are increasingly recognized to be essential players in the development, homeostasis and diseases of the central nervous system. With the availability of new genetic, molecular and pharmacological tools, considerable advances have been made towards our understanding of the embryonic origins, developmental programmes and functions of these cells. These exciting discoveries, some of which are still controversial, also raise many new questions, which makes brain macrophage biology a fast-growing field at the intersection of neuroscience and immunology. Here, we review the current knowledge of how and where brain macrophages are generated, with a focus on parenchymal microglia. We also discuss their normal functions during development and homeostasis, the disturbance of which may lead to various neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric diseases.

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          Most cited references 58

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          Local self-renewal can sustain CNS microglia maintenance and function throughout adult life.

          Microgliosis is a common response to multiple types of damage in the CNS. However, the origin of the cells involved in this process is still controversial and the relative importance of local expansion versus recruitment of microglia progenitors from the bloodstream is unclear. Here, we investigated the origin of microglia using chimeric animals obtained by parabiosis. We found no evidence of microglia progenitor recruitment from the circulation in denervation or CNS neurodegenerative disease, suggesting that maintenance and local expansion of microglia are solely dependent on the self-renewal of CNS resident cells in these models.
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            Tissue-Resident Macrophage Ontogeny and Homeostasis.

            Defining the origins and developmental pathways of tissue-resident macrophages should help refine our understanding of the role of these cells in various disease settings and enable the design of novel macrophage-targeted therapies. In recent years the long-held belief that macrophage populations in the adult are continuously replenished by monocytes from the bone marrow (BM) has been overturned with the advent of new techniques to dissect cellular ontogeny. The new paradigm suggests that several tissue-resident macrophage populations are seeded during waves of embryonic hematopoiesis and self-maintain independently of BM contribution during adulthood. However, the exact nature of the embryonic progenitors that give rise to adult tissue-resident macrophages is still debated, and the mechanisms enabling macrophage population maintenance in the adult are undefined. Here, we review the emergence of these concepts and discuss current controversies and future directions in macrophage biology.
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              Infiltrating monocytes trigger EAE progression, but do not contribute to the resident microglia pool.

              In multiple sclerosis and the experimental autoimmune encephalitis (EAE) mouse model, two pools of morphologically indistinguishable phagocytic cells, microglia and inflammatory macrophages, accrue from proliferating resident precursors and recruitment of blood-borne progenitors, respectively. Whether these cell types are functionally equivalent is hotly debated, but is challenging to address experimentally. Using a combination of parabiosis and myeloablation to replace circulating progenitors without affecting CNS-resident microglia, we found a strong correlation between monocyte infiltration and progression to the paralytic stage of EAE. Inhibition of chemokine receptor-dependent recruitment of monocytes to the CNS blocked EAE progression, suggesting that these infiltrating cells are essential for pathogenesis. Finally, we found that, although microglia can enter the cell cycle and return to quiescence following remission, recruited monocytes vanish, and therefore do not ultimately contribute to the resident microglial pool. In conclusion, we identified two distinct subsets of myelomonocytic cells with distinct roles in neuroinflammation and disease progression.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Reviews Immunology
                Nat Rev Immunol
                Springer Nature
                1474-1733
                1474-1741
                November 20 2017
                November 20 2017
                :
                :
                Article
                10.1038/nri.2017.125
                29151590
                ad46a781-ace5-48a8-afa0-4e2b483427aa
                © 2017
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