Microglia and monocyte-derived macrophages: Functionally distinct populations that act in concert in CNS plasticity and repair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Functional macrophage heterogeneity is recognized outside the central nervous system (CNS), where alternatively-activated macrophages can perform immuneresolving functions. Such functional heterogeneity was largely ignored in the CNS, with respect to the resident microglia and the myeloid-derived cells recruited from the blood following injury or disease, previously defined as blood-derived microglia; both were indistinguishably perceived detrimental. Our studies have led us to view the myeloid-derived infiltrating cells as functionally distinct from the resident microglia, and accordingly, to name them monocyte-derived macrophages (mo-MΦ). Although microglia perform various maintenance and protective roles, under certain conditions when they can no longer provide protection, mo-MΦ are recruited to the damaged CNS; there, they act not as microglial replacements but rather assistant cells, providing activities that cannot be timely performed by the resident cells. Here, we focus on the functional heterogeneity of microglia/mo-MΦ, emphasizing that, as opposed to the mo-MΦ, microglia often fail to timely acquire the phenotype essential for CNS repair.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFRONTIERS IN CELLULAR NEUROSCIENCE
Issue numberMAR
DOIs
StatePublished - 18 Mar 2013

Keywords

  • CNS
  • Innate
  • Macrophages
  • Microglia
  • Monocyte-derived macrophages
  • Monocytes
  • Neuroprotection
  • Resolution of inflammation

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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