Origin of Microglia and their Regulation by Astroglia

  • S. Fedoroff
  • C. Hao
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 296)


Astrocytes and oligodendrocytes develop from neuroectodermal epithelial tissue. Astroglia develop along with the neurons throughout embryogenesis (Fedoroff, 1986; Sturrock, 1986); whereas Oligodendroglia precursor cells, in mouse and rat, are “dormant” during embryogenesis but early postnatally they proliferate and form mature oligodendrocytes (Wood and Bunge, 1984). However, the development of the third type of glia, the microglia, is still a controversial topic. Early evidence, based on morphology, suggested their development from mesodermal tissue outside the central nervous system. It was thought that the precursor cells originated from the pia mater or tela choroidea and then migrated into the CNS (del Rio-Hortega, 1932; Polak et al., 1982). Another suggestion, based on autoradiography using tritiated thymidine, was that microglia originate from neuroepithelium through glioblasts, as do astroglia and Oligodendroglia (Kitamura, 1973; Kitamura et al., 1984).


Marker Chromosome Supernatant Medium Bone Marrow Macrophage Major Histocompatability Complex Nutritional Deprivation 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Fedoroff
    • 1
  • C. Hao
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnatomyUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada

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