Friday, July 15, 2005

Brain Under Surveillance: The Microglia Patrol

Perspective in Science Magazine.

Microglia patrol the brain and shield it from injury. Microglia continually extend (green) and retract (yellow) processes, surveying their immediate environment within the brain. The processes move rapidly toward a site of injury, such as a damaged blood vessel in the brain, in response to the localized release of a chemoattractant (gradient of orange) from the injured sited. Once at the target site, the processes form a barrier to protect healthy tissue.

Researchers have used two-photon microscopy on living mouse brains to image microglia (common brain immune cells) in motion. They genetically engineered the mice so that their microglia were fluorescently labeled.

A previous microglia post

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