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Nat Rev Immunol. 2011 Oct 25;11(11):775-87. doi: 10.1038/nri3086.

Microglial cell origin and phenotypes in health and disease.

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Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, School of Medicine, University of California San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, California 92093-0651, USA.


Microglia - resident myeloid-lineage cells in the brain and the spinal cord parenchyma - function in the maintenance of normal tissue homeostasis. Microglia also act as sentinels of infection and injury, and participate in both innate and adaptive immune responses in the central nervous system. Microglia can become activated and/or dysregulated in the context of neurodegenerative disease and cancer, and thereby contribute to disease severity. Here, we discuss recent studies that provide new insights into the origin and phenotypes of microglia in health and disease.

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