Astrocytes and Microglia: In Sickness and in Health

Trends Neurosci. 2020 Mar;43(3):144-154. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2020.01.003. Epub 2020 Feb 7.


Healthy central nervous system (CNS) development and function require an intricate and balanced bidirectional communication between neurons and glia cells. In this review, we discuss the complementary roles of astrocytes and microglia in building the brain, including in the formation and refinement of synapses. We discuss recent evidence demonstrating how these interactions are coordinated in the transition from healthy physiology towards disease and discuss known and potential molecular mechanisms that mediate this cellular crosstalk.

Keywords: astrocytes; brain development; microglia; neuroimmune; synapses.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Astrocytes*
  • Humans
  • Microglia*
  • Neuroglia
  • Neurons
  • Synapses