Acknowledgments We thank Dr. Barry Ganetzky, University of Wisconsin at Madison for the hr2 mutant strain, Dr. Mel Feany for comments on the neuropathology, Dr. Michael Grabe for assistance with MODELLER, the Bloomington Stock center for fly strains, and the National Institutes of Health (R01AG027453, R01AG025046, R21NS078758 to M. J. P., and R01GM097204 to A. P. V.) for grant support.
Microglia are believed to derive Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical from monocytes that invade the developing central nervous system (CNS) and persist over the adult life as resident macrophages (Alliot et
al. 1999). A recent study using fate-mapping analysis confirmed that these glial cells derive from primitive myeloid progenitors that arise before embryonic day 8 (Ginhoux et al. 2010) and that postnatal hematopoietic progenitors do not contribute to microglia homeostasis in the adult brain. Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical These cells perform a multitude of physiological roles in normal adult CNS (Nimmerjahn et al. 2005; Ransohoff and Perry 2009) and are believed to perform both detrimental and beneficial actions during acute and chronic neural disorders (Block et al. 2007; Perry et al. 2010). In physiological conditions, they stochastically move their processes in several directions in a complex way and scanning for minor tissue alterations for maintaining Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical tissue integrity (Stence et al. 2001; Davalos et al.
2005; Nimmerjahn et al. 2005). Nevertheless, there is experimental evidence suggesting that activated microglia perform both beneficial and detrimental actions Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical after CNS disorders including spinal cord injury (SCI), stroke, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, prion,
Parkinson, Huntington, and Alzheimer diseases (Block et al. 2007; Ekdahl et al. 2009; Perry et al. 2010). Why do microglia have a dual role after CNS diseases? There is not a definitive answer to Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical this question. In this paper, we first review the dual role of microglia during acute CNS disorders. Further, we discuss the possible reasons for this duality under pathological conditions. We hypothesize that both harmful and beneficial stimuli are released upon injury into specific anatomical niches along the damaged areas triggering both beneficial and deleterious actions of microglia. Depending on the CNS-affected area and disease’s etiology, both noxious and beneficial microglial phenotypes might coexist along the pathological environment. According almost to this notion, there are no natural populations of deleterious microglia, but is the pathological environment that determines the microglial phenotype. The Physiological Roles of Microglia Microglia patrol the adult CNS environment in physiological conditions In the mature CNS, microglia adopt a highly ramified morphology under physiological conditions (Nimmerjahn et al. 2005). A study using confocal time-lapse analysis in hippocampal slices first has shown that microglia branches are highly dynamic click here structures upon activation (Stence et al.