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Nat Neurosci. 2007 Dec;10(12):1544-53. Epub 2007 Nov 18.

Microglia in the adult brain arise from Ly-6ChiCCR2+ monocytes only under defined host conditions.

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Institute of Neuropathology, Georg August University, Göttingen, Germany.


Microglia are crucially important myeloid cells in the CNS and constitute the first immunological barrier against pathogens and environmental insults. The factors controlling microglia recruitment from the blood remain elusive and the direct circulating microglia precursor has not yet been identified in vivo. Using a panel of bone marrow chimeric and adoptive transfer experiments, we found that circulating Ly-6C(hi)CCR2(+) monocytes were preferentially recruited to the lesioned brain and differentiated into microglia. Notably, microglia engraftment in CNS pathologies, which are not associated with overt blood-brain barrier disruption, required previous conditioning of brain (for example, by direct tissue irradiation). Our results identify Ly-6C(hi)CCR2(+) monocytes as direct precursors of microglia in the adult brain and establish the importance of local factors in the adult CNS for microglia engraftment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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