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Microglial cells are a specialised population of macrophages that are found in the central nervous system (CNS). They remove damaged neurons and infections and are important for maintaining the health of the CNS.
Korin et al. use CyTOF mass cytometry to characterize immune cell populations in the naive mouse brain (parenchyma, choroid plexus and meninges). This single-cell analysis of cell-surface proteins reveals the presence and phenotype of distinctive immune populations in the mouse brain compartment.
Effective drug treatments for intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH) are still lacking. However, therapies that target microglial phenotype switching might soon become available for affected patients. Here, Wang and colleagues summarize key advances in understanding of microglial function after ICH, including modulators of microglial function and interactions with other cells.
Microglia are the tissue-resident macrophages of the brain. Ouyang and colleagues show the ER-resident transmembrane protein NRROS is necessary for proper development and function of microglia. Mice lacking NRROS exhibit neurologic defects and die prematurely.
Long-term consumption of a calorie-rich diet persistently activates brain microglia. Here, the authors show that microglial activity in mouse brains oscillates daily in conjunction with feeding, and that TNFα, secreted by activated microglia, induces mitochondrial stress in satiety-promoting POMC neurons.
Microglia are by far the best-characterized macrophages in the CNS, but non-parenchymal populations, such as those found in the meninges, are being increasingly studied. Prinz et al. review the ontogeny and functions of both parenchymal macrophages and non-parenchymal macrophages the CNS.