Physiology of microglia

Kettenmann Helmut, Uwe Karsten Hanisch, Mami Noda, Alexei Verkhratsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1619 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Microglial cells are the resident macrophages in the central nervous system. These cells of mesodermal/mesenchymal origin migrate into all regions of the central nervous system, disseminate through the brain parenchyma, and acquire a specific ramified morphological phenotype termed "resting microglia. " Recent studies indicate that even in the normal brain, microglia have highly motile processes by which they scan their territorial domains. By a large number of signaling pathways they can communicate with macroglial cells and neurons and with cells of the immune system. Likewise, microglial cells express receptors classically described for brain-specific communication such as neurotransmitter receptors and those first discovered as immune cell-specific such as for cytokines. Microglial cells are considered the most susceptible sensors of brain pathology. Upon any detection of signs for brain lesions or nervous system dysfunction, microglial cells undergo a complex, multistage activation process that converts them into the "activated microglial cell." This cell form has the capacity to release a large number of substances that can act detrimental or beneficial for the surrounding cells. Activated microglial cells can migrate to the site of injury, proliferate, and phagocytose cells and cellular compartments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-553
Number of pages93
JournalPhysiological Reviews
Volume91
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2011

Fingerprint

Microglia
Brain
Central Nervous System
Cytophagocytosis
Neurotransmitter Receptor
Nervous System
Immune System
Macrophages
Pathology
Cytokines
Phenotype
Neurons

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Physiology (medical)

Cite this

Helmut, K., Hanisch, U. K., Noda, M., & Verkhratsky, A. (2011). Physiology of microglia. Physiological Reviews, 91(2), 461-553. https://doi.org/10.1152/physrev.00011.2010

Physiology of microglia. / Helmut, Kettenmann; Hanisch, Uwe Karsten; Noda, Mami; Verkhratsky, Alexei.

In: Physiological Reviews, Vol. 91, No. 2, 01.04.2011, p. 461-553.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Helmut, K, Hanisch, UK, Noda, M & Verkhratsky, A 2011, 'Physiology of microglia', Physiological Reviews, vol. 91, no. 2, pp. 461-553. https://doi.org/10.1152/physrev.00011.2010
Helmut K, Hanisch UK, Noda M, Verkhratsky A. Physiology of microglia. Physiological Reviews. 2011 Apr 1;91(2):461-553. https://doi.org/10.1152/physrev.00011.2010
Helmut, Kettenmann ; Hanisch, Uwe Karsten ; Noda, Mami ; Verkhratsky, Alexei. / Physiology of microglia. In: Physiological Reviews. 2011 ; Vol. 91, No. 2. pp. 461-553.
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