Overall importance of microglia in various brain and spinal cord diseases surprises researchers, who find patient-specific stem cells can be turned into microglia, which could be very useful in future treatment options.
Jacob Blumenthal's insight:
This study was presented on the 81st American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) Annual Scientific Meeting. The researchers were able to generate cells that express CD11b, Iba-1 and CX3CR1; secrete the cytokines IL-6, IL-1ß and TNF-a; generate reactive oxygen species; and phagocytose fluorescent particles, all consistent with a microglial phenotype. These microglia-like cells can be used to study the role of microglia cells in healthy brains and various neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases. Moreover, these microglia-like cells have the ability to engraft and migrate to areas of injury within the brain. This ability allows to use these cells as gene and protein delivery vehicles to the CNS.
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