Microglia as modulators of cognition and neuropsychiatric disorders

Glia. 2013 Jan;61(1):62-70. doi: 10.1002/glia.22372. Epub 2012 Jun 27.


It has become evident recently only that microglia are not only responsible for immunomodulatory functions in the brain but represent vital components of the larger synaptic formation, which also includes pre and postsynaptic neurones as well as astrocytes. Microglia critically contribute to CNS homeostasis by their actions in phagocytosis of cellular debris, release of a variety of cell signaling factors including neurotrophins and extracellular matrix components and direct contact with neurons. The purpose of this review is to summarize our current understanding of the involvement of microglia in cognitive processes and neuropsychiatric disorders including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, and Rett syndrome and to outline their potential signaling mechanisms in this context.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / metabolism*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Microglia / physiology*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology