Acta Neuropathologica

, Volume 128, Issue 3, pp 347–362 | Cite as

CNS macrophages and peripheral myeloid cells in brain tumours

  • Rainer Glass
  • Michael Synowitz


Primary brain tumours (gliomas) initiate a strong host response and can contain large amounts of immune cells (myeloid cells) such as microglia and tumour-infiltrating macrophages. In gliomas the course of pathology is not only controlled by the genetic make-up of the tumour cells, but also depends on the interplay with myeloid cells in the tumour microenvironment. Especially malignant gliomas such as glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) are notoriously immune-suppressive and it is now evident that GBM cells manipulate myeloid cells to support tumour expansion. The protumorigenic effects of glioma-associated myeloid cells comprise a support for angiogenesis as well as tumour cell invasion, proliferation and survival. Different strategies for inhibiting the pathological functions of myeloid cells in gliomas are explored, and blocking the tropism of microglia/macrophages to gliomas or manipulating the signal transduction pathways for immune cell activation has been successful in pre-clinical models. Hence, myeloid cells are now emerging as a promising target for new adjuvant therapies for gliomas. However, it is also becoming evident that some myeloid-directed glioma therapies may only be beneficial for distinct subclasses of gliomas and that a more cell-type-specific manipulation of either microglia or macrophages may improve therapeutic outcomes.


Glioma Cell Microglial Cell Myeloid Cell Peripheral Immune Cell Peripheral Macrophage 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Financial support for R.G. by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (SFB824, GL691/2), Anni-Hofmann Stiftung and the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK), Heidelberg, Germany, and for M.S. by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (SY 144/3) is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Neurosurgical Research, Department of NeurosurgeryUniversity Clinics MunichMunichGermany
  2. 2.Department of NeurosurgeryCharité-University Medicine BerlinBerlinGermany
  3. 3.Max Delbrueck Center for Molecular Medicine Berlin-Buch (MDC)BerlinGermany
  4. 4.Neurosurgical Research, Department of NeurosurgeryLudwig Maximilians University (LMU)MunichGermany

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