About this Research Topic
Microglia, the resident macrophages of the central nervous system (CNS), play an important role in diverse neurological diseases including neurodegenerative diseases, neurodevelopmental disorders, and brain tumors. Dysfunctional microglia can directly lead to CNS microgliopathy, such as CSF1R-related leukoencephalopathy. Thus, microglia-based immunotherapies may serve as a potential therapeutic strategy for many neurological diseases.
With the rapid progress in advanced technologies and new tools, our current understanding of these versatile cells in both physiological and pathological conditions has been significantly expanded. Novel single-cell techniques enabled us to understand microglia heterogeneity at the single-cell level. Disease-associated microglia (DAM) has been recently described in the conditions of neurodegeneration and manipulating DAM precisely may create new therapeutic opportunities. Cx3cr1-GFP mouse strain has been widely used to visualize the microglia and bring the possibility for in-vivo study of microglial dynamics by using multiphoton microscopy. Cx3cr1-Cre and Cx3cr1-CreER mouse strains are widely used to genetically manipulate microglia. More recently, microglial specific markers, such as Tmem119, P2ry12, and Sall1, help us to distinguish residential microglia from peripheral infiltrating myeloid cells. Tmem119-CreER and P2ry12-CreER mouse strains were then generated in order to target microglia specifically. Moreover, Parabiosis, Bone marrow chimera, and CCR2-CreER: Ai6 mouse strains have been developed to tracing the origin or the brain macrophages under both physiological and pathological conditions. Drugs are also developed to target microglia such as microglial receptor inhibitors and anti-inflammation drugs. Interestingly, microglia can also be reprogramed into neurons. Generating microglia from human pluripotent stem cells provides the possibility to study microglia of translational relevance.
Despite remarkable major recent advances, we are just beginning to decipher microglia heterogeneity and develop microglia-based immunotherapies for the treatment of neurological diseases. The aim of this Research Topic is to discuss how microglia can be manipulated for brain repair. We seek original research articles, review articles, and commentaries focusing on, but not limited to, the following topics:
1. Brain repair by targeting dysfunctional microglia
2. Brain repair by targeting neuroinflammation
3. New methods for manipulating microglia
Keywords: Microglia, Brain Repair, Neuroinflammation, Cell Therapies, Neurological Diseases
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