Differences of Microglia in the Brain and the Spinal Cord

Front Cell Neurosci. 2019 Nov 14:13:504. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2019.00504. eCollection 2019.


Microglia were previously regarded as a homogenous myeloid cell lineage in the mammalian central nervous system (CNS). However, accumulating evidences show that microglia in the brain and SC are quite different in development, cellular phenotypes and biological functions. Although this is a very interesting phenomenon, the underlying mechanisms and its significance for neurological diseases in association with behavioral and cognitive changes are still unclear. How microglia differ between these two regions and whether such diversity may contribute to CNS development and functions as well as neurological diseases will be discussed in this Perspective.

Keywords: brain; microglia; neuroinflammation; neurological diseases; spinal cord.