AbstractMicroglia are the main immune cells of the brain contributing, however, not only to brain’s immune defense but also to many basic housekeeping functions such as development and maintenance of functional neural networks, provision of trophic support for surrounding neurons, monitoring and modulating the levels of synaptic activity, cleaning of accumulating extracellular debris and repairing microdamages of the brain parenchyma. As a consequence, age-related alterations in microglial function likely have a manifold impact on brain’s physiology. In this review, I discuss the recent data about physiological properties of microglia in the adult mammalian brain; changes observed in the brain innate immune system during healthy aging and the probable biological mechanisms responsible for them as well as changes occurring in humans and mice during age-related neurodegenerative disorders along with underlying cellular/molecular mechanisms. Together these data provide a new conceptual framework for thinking about the role of microglia in the context of age-mediated brain dysfunction.
Neuroforum – de Gruyter
Published: Nov 27, 2017
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