IMR Press / FBS / Volume 3 / Issue 3 / DOI: 10.2741/192

Frontiers in Bioscience-Scholar (FBS) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 1 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Mechanisms and consequences of microglial responses to peripheral axotomy
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1 Department of Neuroscience, Uppsala University Biomedical Center, P.O. Box 593, 751 24 Uppsala, Sweden

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Academic Editor: Charanjit Kaur

Front. Biosci. (Schol Ed) 2011, 3(3), 857–868;
Published: 1 June 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microglia and brain macrophages in health and disease)

Microglia respond rapidly to injury of peripheral nerve axons (axotomy). This response is integrated into the responses of the injured neurons, i.e. processes for neuron survival, axon regeneration and restoration of target contact. The microglial response is also integrated in changes in presynaptic terminals on axotomized motor or autonomic neurons and in changes in the central terminals of peripherally axotomized sensory neurons. Microglia also has an established role in interacting with astrocytes to shape their response to peripheral axotomy. Axotomy models in mice have demonstrated a role for microglia in regulating the entry of lymphocytes into motor nuclei or sensory areas following peripheral axotomy. Whether this is a universal component of peripheral nerve injury remains to be determined. Under certain circumstances, microglia activated by axotomy are major contributors to CNS pathology, e.g. in models of neuropathic pain. However, the general roles played by microglia after peripheral nerve injury are still incompletely understood. Early proposals that the microglial reaction to peripheral nerve injury is preparatory for the eventuality of neuron degeneration may still have relevance.

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