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Microglia: Key Players in Retinal Ageing and Neurodegeneration

Guo, Li; Choi, Soyoung; Bikkannavar, Priyanka; Cordeiro, M Francesca; (2022) Microglia: Key Players in Retinal Ageing and Neurodegeneration. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience , 16 , Article 804782. 10.3389/fncel.2022.804782. Green open access

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Microglia are the resident immune cells of the central nervous system (CNS) and play a key role in maintaining the normal function of the retina and brain. During early development, microglia migrate into the retina, transform into a highly ramified phenotype, and scan their environment constantly. Microglia can be activated by any homeostatic disturbance that may endanger neurons and threaten tissue integrity. Once activated, the young microglia exhibit a high diversity in their phenotypes as well as their functions, which relate to either beneficial or harmful consequences. Microglial activation is associated with the release of cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors that can determine pathological outcomes. As the professional phagocytes in the retina, microglia are responsible for the clearance of pathogens, dead cells, and protein aggregates. However, their phenotypic diversity and phagocytic capacity is compromised with ageing. This may result in the accumulation of protein aggregates and myelin debris leading to retinal neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration. In this review, we describe microglial phenotypes and functions in the context of the young and ageing retina, and the mechanisms underlying changes in ageing. Additionally, we review microglia-mediated retinal neuroinflammation and discuss the mechanisms of microglial involvement in retinal neurodegenerative diseases.

Type: Article
Title: Microglia: Key Players in Retinal Ageing and Neurodegeneration
Location: Switzerland
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fncel.2022.804782
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3389/fncel.2022.804782
Language: English
Additional information: © 2022 Guo, Choi, Bikkannavar and Cordeiro. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Keywords: ageing, microglia, morphology, phagocytosis, phenotypes, retina, retinal neurodegenerative disease
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Institute of Ophthalmology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10147146
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