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FEBS Lett. 2011 Dec 1;585(23):3798-805. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2011.08.033. Epub 2011 Aug 30.

Role of microglia in CNS inflammation.

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Brain Tumor Research Laboratories, The Brain and Mind Research Institute, University of Sydney, Camperdown, Sydney, NSW 2050, Australia.


There is increasing confusion about the meaning of the terms inflammation, neuroinflammation, and microglial inflammation. We aim in this review to achieve greater clarity regarding these terms, which are essential for our understanding of the role of microglia in CNS inflammatory conditions. The important concept of sterile inflammation is explained against the backdrop of classical inflammation, and its key differences from what researchers refer to when they use the terms neuroinflammation and microglial inflammation are illustrated. We propose to replace the term "neuroinflammation" with "microglial activation" or "CNS pseudo-inflammation", if microglial activation does not suffice. In addition, we recommend abandoning the terms "microglial inflammation" and "inflamed microglia" because of the lack of a clear concept behind them.

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