Institute for Infection and Immunity, St. Microglial cells undergo a variety of age-related changes in morphology, phenotype and functions Mosher and Wyss-Coray, ; Wong, Although it has been recognized that aged microglial cells are dysfunctional, their role is not completely understood. Aged microglial cells have an impaired capability of producing antiinflammatory substances, resulting in reduced neuroprotection, whereas expression and production of proinflammatory substances have been found to be enhanced.
Transcriptomic profiling of microglia and astrocytes throughout aging
Frontiers | An Overview of in vitro Methods to Study Microglia | Cellular Neuroscience
Metrics details. We performed RNA-seq analyses on microglia and astrocytes freshly isolated from wild-type and APP-PS1 AD mouse brains at five time points to elucidate their age-related gene-expression profiles. And most age-up genes were more highly expressed in AD mice at the same time points. Bioinformatic analyses revealed that the age-up genes in microglia were associated with the inflammatory response, whereas these genes in astrocytes included widely recognized AD risk genes, genes associated with synaptic transmission or elimination, and peptidase-inhibitor genes. These biological and pathological processes are also associated with diminished blood-brain barrier BBB integrity, which leads to the accumulation in the brain of blood-derived proteins [ 2 , 3 ] and the infiltration of peripheral cells [ 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 , 9 ], and multiple lines of evidence indicate that the innate-immune functions of microglia and astrocytes are involved in these processes. In the CNS, microglia play crucial roles in the maintenance of brain homeostasis by regulating synaptic plasticity, remodeling neuronal circuits, defending against infectious pathogens [ 13 , 14 , 15 ], and promoting tip-cell fusion to participate in angiogenesis [ 16 ].
Microglia and autism
Microglia are the primary immune cells of the central nervous system , similar to peripheral macrophages. As part of their response they secrete cytokines , chemokines , prostaglandins , and reactive oxygen species, which help to direct the immune response. Additionally, they are instrumental in the resolution of the inflammatory response, through the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines.
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