Microglia: dismantling and rebuilding circuits after acute neurological injury

Jenna M. Ziebell, P. David Adelson, Jonathan Lifshitz
2014 Metabolic brain disease  
The brain is comprised of neurons and its support system including astrocytes, glial cells and microglia, thereby forming neurovascular units. Neurons require support from glial cells to establish and maintain functional circuits, but microglia are often overlooked. Microglia function as the immune cell of the central nervous system, acting to monitor the microenvironment for changes in signaling, pathogens and injury. More recently, other functional roles for microglia within the healthy brain
more » ... have been identified, including regulating synapse formation, elimination and function. This review aims to highlight and discuss these alternate microglial roles in the healthy and in contrast, diseased brain with a focus on two acute neurological diseases, traumatic brain injury and epilepsy. In these conditions, microglial roles in synaptic stripping and stabilization as part of neuronal:glial interactions may position them as mediators of the transition between injury-induced circuit dismantling and subsequent reorganization. Increased understanding of microglia roles could identify therapeutic targets to mitigate the consequences of neurological disease. Keywords Microglia . Synaptic stripping . Neurological disease . Traumatic brain injury . Epilepsy Microglia: amoeboid to ramified and back again
doi:10.1007/s11011-014-9539-y pmid:24733573 pmcid:PMC4198517 fatcat:2uy5xo4nv5ejperyumhqoqlpyi