Microglia in the pathogenesis of MS

A forum to discuss research on the origins of MS and its development.
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Re: Microglia in the pathogenesis of MS

Post by Petr75 » Wed Nov 27, 2019 8:46 am

2019 Nov 15
Neuroprotection Research Laboratory, Departments of Radiology and Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Charlestown
Heterogeneity of microglia and their differential roles in white matter pathology.


Microglia are resident immune cells that play multiple roles in central nervous system (CNS) development and disease. Although the classical concept of microglia/macrophage activation is based on a biphasic beneficial-versus-deleterious polarization, growing evidence now suggests a much more heterogenous profile of microglial activation that underlie their complex roles in the CNS. To date, the majority of data are focused on microglia in gray matter. However, demyelination is a prominent pathologic finding in a wide range of diseases including multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, and vascular cognitive impairment and dementia. In this mini-review, we discuss newly discovered functional subsets of microglia that contribute to white matter response in CNS disease onset and progression. Microglia show different molecular patterns and morphologies depending on disease type and brain region, especially in white matter. Moreover, in later stages of disease, microglia demonstrate unconventional immuno-regulatory activities such as increased phagocytosis of myelin debris and secretion of trophic factors that stimulate oligodendrocyte lineage cells to facilitate remyelination and disease resolution. Further investigations of these multiple microglia subsets may lead to novel therapeutic approaches to treat white matter pathology in CNS injury and disease.

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