Publication

The brain's best friend: microglial neurotoxicity revisited

Hellwig, S., Heinrich, A. & Biber, K., 16-May-2013, In : Frontiers in cellular neuroscience. 7, 11 p., 71.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

  • Sabine Hellwig
  • Annette Heinrich
  • Knut Biber

One long standing aspect of microglia biology was never questioned; their involvement in brain disease. Based on morphological changes (retracted processes and amoeboid shape) that inevitably occur in these cells in case of damage in the central nervous system, microglia in the diseased brain were called "activated." Because "activated" microglia were always found in direct neighborhood to dead or dying neuron, and since it is known now for more than 20 years that cultured microglia release numerous factors that are able to kill neurons, microglia "activation" was often seen as a neurotoxic process. From an evolutionary point of view, however, it is difficult to understand why an important, mostly post-mitotic and highly vulnerable organ like the brain would host numerous potential killers. This review is aimed to critically reconsider the term microglia neurotoxicity and to discuss experimental problems around microglia biology, that often have led to the conclusion that microglia are neurotoxic cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number71
Number of pages11
JournalFrontiers in cellular neuroscience
Volume7
Publication statusPublished - 16-May-2013

    Keywords

  • microglia, neuroprotection, mouse models, innate immunity, CX3CR1, microglia depletion, HIPPOCAMPAL SLICE CULTURES, CENTRAL-NERVOUS-SYSTEM, AMYOTROPHIC-LATERAL-SCLEROSIS, FOCAL CEREBRAL-ISCHEMIA, MONOCYTE CHEMOATTRACTANT PROTEIN-1, CHEMOKINE RECEPTOR CCR2, INNATE IMMUNE-RESPONSE, BORNE CELL RECRUITMENT, CNS MYELOID CELLS, NEUROPATHIC PAIN

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