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Review
, 57 (6), 563-81

Reactive Microgliosis

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Review

Reactive Microgliosis

W J Streit et al. Prog Neurobiol.

Abstract

Damage to the central nervous system (CNS) elicits the activation of both astrocytes and microglia. This review is focused on the principal features that characterize the activation of microglia after CNS injury. It provides a critical discussion of concepts regarding microglial biology that include the relationship between microglia and macrophages, as well as the role of microglia as immunocompetent cells of the CNS. Mechanistic and functional aspects of microgliosis are discussed primarily in the context of microglial neuronal interactions. The controversial issue of whether reactive microgliosis is a beneficial or a harmful process is addressed, and a resolution of this dilemma is offered by suggesting different interpretations of the term 'activated microglia' depending on its usage during in vivo or in vitro experimentation.

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