Seminars in Immunopathology

, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 513–525 | Cite as

Role of microglia in neuronal degeneration and regeneration

  • Lisa Walter
  • Harald NeumannEmail author


Microglial cells, the resident macrophage population of the central nervous system (CNS), actively scan tissue under both normal and pathologic contexts. Their resulting engagement can become either neuroprotective or neurotoxic, leading to amelioration or aggravation of disease progression. In this review, we focus on the molecular signaling molecules involved in microglial responses and discuss observations demonstrating the diverse effects of microglia in animal models of CNS diseases.


Microglia Neuroinflammation Neurodegeneration Neural regeneration 



The Neural Regeneration Group at the University Bonn is supported by the Hertie-Foundation, the Walter-und-Ilse-Rose-Foundation, the DFG (SFB704, KFO177), and the EU (LSHM-CT-2005-018637).

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that they have no competing financial interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyUniversity of CologneCologneGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Reconstructive Neurobiology, University Hospital BonnUniversity Bonn and Hertie-FoundationBonnGermany

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