The role of microglia in multiple sclerosis

Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2017 Jun 26;13:1661-1667. doi: 10.2147/NDT.S140634. eCollection 2017.


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (CNS). Microglia are the resident innate immune cells in the CNS; they play an important role in the processes of demyelination and remyelination in MS. Microglia can function as antigen-presenting cells and phagocytes. In the past, microglia were considered to be the same cell type as macrophages, and researchers have different opinions about the role of microglia in MS. This review focuses on the original classification of microglia and their role in the pathogenesis of MS. Moreover, we present a hypothetical model for the role of microglia in the pathogenesis of MS based on recent findings.

Keywords: macrophage; microglia; multiple sclerosis; myelin.

Publication types

  • Review