Regulation of microglia development and homeostasis

Melanie Greter, Miriam Merad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


Microglia represent the resident macrophages of the central nervous system (CNS) and account for 10% of the adult glial cell population in the normal brain. Although microglial cells are thought to contribute to most pathological conditions including CNS infections, neuroinflammatory lesions, brain tumors, and neurodegenerative diseases, their exact role in CNS development, homeostasis, and disease remains poorly understood. In contrast to most macrophage populations, microglia survive high-dose ionizing radiation and maintain themselves locally and independently of circulating precursors in the steady state. However, controversies remain on the origin of microglia in the brain and whether they could potentially be repopulated by circulating myeloid precursors after brain injury. Microglia-targeted therapies through the use of genetically modified circulating hematopoietic cells proved to be a promising therapeutic strategy for the treatment of brain diseases. It is thus of great importance to understand the contribution and developmental cues of circulating myeloid cells as potential microglia progenitors to the adult pool of microglia in the steady state and under inflammatory conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-127
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013


  • Development
  • Microglia
  • Ontogeny


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