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Detailed brain map uncovers hidden immune cells that may be involved in neurodegenerative disorders

 11 months ago       139 Views

Our brains do not only contain neurons, but also a variety of immune cells that play an important role in its functioning. A team led by Prof. Kiavash Movahedi (VIB Center for Inflammation Research at VUB) has developed a comprehensive cell atlas of the brain’s immune compartment. This revealed not only the striking diversity of brain macrophages but also found microglia where they were not expected. Remarkably, these ‘hidden’ microglia showed a clear resemblance to microglia that are normally associated with neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. The new insights are important for better understanding the role of macrophages in healthy brain physiology and for developing future treatments for neurodegenerative diseases.

Macrophages – a type of immune cell – in the brain were first discovered 100 years ago by the Spanish scientist Pío del Río-Hortega. Most brain macrophages are known as microglia. These cells are in close contact with neurons and are critical for the proper development and functioning of the brain. But beyond the microglia, our brains house several other types of macrophages, many of which are relatively unknown.

Author: @DailyCupofYoga


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