Review

Microglia: Scapegoat, Saboteur, or Something Else?

Science  11 Jan 2013:
Vol. 339, Issue 6116, pp. 156-161
DOI: 10.1126/science.1227901

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Abstract

Microglia are resident immune cells in the brain and spinal cord. These cells provide immune surveillance and are mobilized in response to disparate diseases and injuries. Although microglial activation is often considered neurotoxic, microglia are essential defenders against many neurodegenerative diseases. It also seems increasingly likely that microglial dysfunction can underlie certain neurological diseases without an obvious immune component.

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