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Microsc Res Tech. 2001 Jul 1;54(1):18-25.

From theory to therapy: implications from an in vitro model of ramified microglia.

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Department of Anatomy, Christian-Albrechs-University, Kiel, Germany.


Microglia are the principal immune cells in the central nervous system (CNS), characterized by a highly specific morphology and unusual antigenic phenotype. An increasing number of studies have focused on the role of microglia in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. To elucidate the function of microglial cells under several neuropathological conditions, we have studied and established a cell culture model that allows us to cultivate microglial cells in their inactive, resting (ramified) phenotype. In the first part of this work, we describe the interaction of microglia cells with their epithelial (astrocytic) microenvironment. The second part reviews experiments with microglia cell cultures to elucidate underlying signalling pathways and summarizes recent advances of our knowledge in microglial molecular pathways that may ultimately lead to neurodegeneration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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