A novel role for microglia in minimizing excitotoxicity
Department of Neurobiology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
BMC Biology 2012, 10:7 doi:10.1186/1741-7007-10-7Published: 31 January 2012
Microglia are the abundant, resident myeloid cells of the central nervous system (CNS) that become rapidly activated in response to injury or inflammation. While most studies of microglia focus on this phenomenon, little is known about the function of 'resting' microglia, which possess fine, branching cellular processes. Biber and colleagues, in a recent paper in Journal of Neuroinflammation, report that ramified microglia can limit excitotoxicity, an important insight for understanding mechanisms that limit neuron death in CNS disease.