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Glia. 1993 Jan;7(1):84-92.

Microglia in degenerative neurological disease.

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Kinsmen Laboratory of Neurological Research, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.


Microglia express many leukocyte surface antigens which are upregulated in such chronic degenerative neurological diseases as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). These surface antigens include leukocyte common antigen, immunoglobulin Fc receptors, MHC class I and class II glycoproteins, beta 2-integrins, and the vitronectin receptor. Ligands for these receptors are also found. They include immunoglobulins, complement proteins of the classical pathway, T lymphocytes of the cytotoxic/suppressor and helper/inducer classes, and vitronectin. T lymphocytes marginate along capillary venules, with some penetrating into the tissue matrix. Immunoglobulins and complement proteins are synthesized locally in brain, although they may also come from the bloodstream if the blood-brain barrier is compromised. The membrane attack complex, which is formed from C5b-9, the terminal components of complement, has been identified in AD and multiple sclerosis brain tissue. In addition, proteins designed to defend against bystander lysis caused by the membrane attack complex, including protectin, C8 binding protein, clusterin, and vitronectin, are associated with damaged neuronal processes in AD. Autodestruction may play a prominent part in these 2 diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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