Immunopsychiatry

Depressing effects of microglia

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Science  17 Apr 2020:
Vol. 368, Issue 6488, pp. 279-280
DOI: 10.1126/science.368.6488.279-b

Microglia act as the brain's resident cleanup squad by phagocytosing apoptotic cells, plaques, and pathogens. Because they can prune and reshape synapses, microglia may also be influential in the pathogenesis of psychiatric illnesses. Lago et al. report that CD300f, a receptor found on microglia that recognizes the “eat me” signal phosphatidylserine, may be involved in major depressive disorder (MDD). A polymorphism of CD300f affects signaling and is associated with protection against MDD in women but not men. A lack of CD300f impairs microglial metabolic fitness, and Cd300f−/− female mice exhibited depressive-like behavior in models of MDD. Caveats about murine MDD models aside, this suggests that microglia and CD300f may be suitable future therapeutic targets for this disorder.

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 117, 6651 (2020).

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