Current tools to interrogate microglial biology

Neuron. 2021 Sep 15;109(18):2805-2819. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2021.07.004. Epub 2021 Aug 13.


Microglial cells perform a plethora of functions in the central nervous system (CNS), involving them in brain development, maintenance of homeostasis in adulthood, and CNS diseases. Significant technical advancements have prompted the development of novel systems adapted to analyze microglia with increasing specificity and intricacy. The advent of single-cell technologies combined with targeted mouse models has been decisive in deciphering microglia heterogeneity and dissecting microglial functions. However sophisticated these tools have become, clear limitations remain. Understanding their pitfalls and advantages ensures their correct application. Therefore, we provide a guide to the cutting-edge methods currently available to dissect microglial biology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / physiology
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / diagnosis
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / genetics*
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Profiling / methods*
  • Humans
  • Metabolomics / methods*
  • Microglia / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Proteomics / methods*