Microglia are macrophages that colonize the brain during development to establish a resident population of professional phagocytes that protect against invading pathogens and contribute to brain development and homeostasis. As such, these cells sit at the interface between immunology and neurobiology. In addition to their key roles in brain physiology, microglia offer a great opportunity to address central questions in biology relating to how migrating cells find their positions in the embryo, adopt a behavior that is appropriate for that position, and interact with their local environment. We aim, in this review, to survey key recent advances in microglial research.
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