Microglial signatures and their role in health and disease

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2018 Oct;19(10):622-635. doi: 10.1038/s41583-018-0057-5.


Microglia are the primary innate immune cells in the CNS. In the healthy brain, they exhibit a unique molecular homeostatic 'signature', consisting of a specific transcriptional profile and surface protein expression pattern, which differs from that of tissue macrophages. In recent years, there have been a number of important advances in our understanding of the molecular signatures of homeostatic microglia and disease-associated microglia that have provided insight into how these cells are regulated in health and disease and how they contribute to the maintenance of the neural environment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Central Nervous System / cytology*
  • Homeostasis / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Microglia / physiology*


  • Membrane Proteins