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Trends Immunol. 2015 Oct;36(10):605-613. doi: 10.1016/j.it.2015.08.008.

Microglia: Dynamic Mediators of Synapse Development and Plasticity.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA; Program in Neuroscience, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA; These authors contributed equally to this work.
2
Department of Neurology, F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA; Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 2B5, Canada; These authors contributed equally to this work.
3
Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 2B5, Canada.
4
Department of Neurology, F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA; Program in Neuroscience, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA. Electronic address: Beth.Stevens@childrens.harvard.edu.

Abstract

Neuronal communication underlies all brain activity and the genesis of complex behavior. Emerging research has revealed an unexpected role for immune molecules in the development and plasticity of neuronal synapses. Moreover microglia, the resident immune cells of the brain, express and secrete immune-related signaling molecules that alter synaptic transmission and plasticity in the absence of inflammation. When inflammation does occur, microglia modify synaptic connections and synaptic plasticity required for learning and memory. Here we review recent findings demonstrating how the dynamic interactions between neurons and microglia shape the circuitry of the nervous system in the healthy brain and how altered neuron-microglia signaling could contribute to disease.

PMID:
26431938
PMCID:
PMC4841266
DOI:
10.1016/j.it.2015.08.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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