Researchers use single-cell RNA sequencing to differentiate the roles that microglia and macrophages both play in how the CNS responds to injury

From by Jared Kaltwasser

New research is opening a new window into how microglia in the brain and central nervous system (CNS) interact with macrophages in the blood. Investigators say the findings could lead to new therapies for diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS), Alzheimer, and spinal cord injuries.

It’s long been known that microglia and macrophages both play a role in how the CNS responds to injury. However, due to similarities between the cells, scientists have thus far been unable to differentiate the particular contributions of the 2 types of cells.

In a study published last month in Science Advances, Jason Plemel, PhD, an assistant professor at the University of Alberta, explain how they finally started to solve the problem.

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Plemel JR et al. (2020) Microglia response following acute demyelination is heterogeneous and limits infiltrating macrophage dispersion. Sci Adv 6(3):eaay6324. [article]

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