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Microglia take centre stage in neurodegenerative disease

After many years of being largely neglected in neurodegenerative disease, the past few years have seen a turning point in the field’s view on the impact of microglia in neurological disorders. 2018 has been another exciting year with a number of great contributions in this area.

Key advances

  • LRRC33 regulates the local activation and release of TGFβ1 in the CNS.

  • Senescent microglia and astroglia drive tau phosphorylation and neurofibrillary tangle formation in a non-cell autonomous manner.

  • Mononuclear phagocytes dynamically adapt their phenotype based on astroglial signals.

  • Microglial cell renewal following CSF1R1 inhibition depends on proliferation of surviving CNS-resident microglia.

  • Microglia are involved in TDP43 clearance from neurons and promote recovery from motor symptoms in a mouse model of ALS.

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M.T.H. is supported by grants from the Deutsche Forschungsgesellschaft (SFB 1089, excellence cluster ImmunoSensation) and by the European Union Joint Programme–Neurodegenerative Disease (JPND) consortium InCure (funding code 01ED1505A).

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Correspondence to Michael T. Heneka.

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The author declares no competing interests.

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Heneka, M.T. Microglia take centre stage in neurodegenerative disease. Nat Rev Immunol 19, 79–80 (2019).

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