Central nervous system myeloid cells as drug targets: current status and translational challenges

Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2016 Feb;15(2):110-24. doi: 10.1038/nrd.2015.14. Epub 2015 Dec 4.


Myeloid cells of the central nervous system (CNS), which include parenchymal microglia, macrophages at CNS interfaces and monocytes recruited from the circulation during disease, are increasingly being recognized as targets for therapeutic intervention in neurological and psychiatric diseases. The origin of these cells in the immune system distinguishes them from ectodermal neurons and other glia and endows them with potential drug targets distinct from classical CNS target groups. However, despite the identification of several promising therapeutic approaches and molecular targets, no agents directly targeting these cells are currently available. Here, we assess strategies for targeting CNS myeloid cells and address key issues associated with their translation into the clinic.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Central Nervous System / drug effects*
  • Central Nervous System / pathology
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / diagnosis
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / genetics
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods
  • Drug Delivery Systems / trends*
  • Humans
  • Myeloid Cells / drug effects*
  • Myeloid Cells / pathology
  • Translational Medical Research / methods
  • Translational Medical Research / trends*