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Open Access Highly Accessed Commentary

A novel role for microglia in minimizing excitotoxicity

Mariko L Howe* and Ben A Barres

Author Affiliations

Department of Neurobiology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA

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BMC Biology 2012, 10:7  doi:10.1186/1741-7007-10-7

Published: 31 January 2012

Abstract

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.

See research articlehttp://www.jneuroinflammation.com/content/9/1/27 webcite.