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Microglia Cell Markers

Microglia are the resident immune cells of the brain and spinal cord. They are critically involved in a plethora of activities including maintenance of homeostasis, synapse remodeling and maturation in the prenatal and adult brain, initiation of neuroinflammation, and development and progression of neurodegenerative diseases. In the healthy brain, microglia exist in a steady-state state, which can be identified by a ramified morphology and specific cell-surface receptors. These cells are actively surveying their environment for harmful environmental changes. Exposure to pathological stimuli activates microglia and initiates several changes including cellular morphology, marker expression, and secretion profile. However, the phenotype of the activated microglia will differ depending on the activating stimulus encountered. Reactive microglia acquire diverse phenotypes that express different cell-surface proteins and soluble factors. These different phenotypes allow microglia to mediate multiple actions to remove the encountered threat and repair damaged tissue. R&D Systems offers a range of research tools needed for investigating microglia activation.