Microglia: The Missing Link to Decipher and Therapeutically Control MS Progression?
Citable Link (URL):http://resolver.sub.uni-goettingen.de/purl?gs-1/17852
Therapeutically controlling chronic progression in multiple sclerosis (MS) remains a major challenge. MS progression is defined as a steady loss of parenchymal and functional integrity of the central nervous system (CNS), occurring independent of relapses or focal, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-detectable inflammatory lesions. While it clinically surfaces in primary or secondary progressive MS, it is assumed to be an integral component of MS from the very beginning. The exact mechanisms causing progression are still unknown, although evolving evidence suggests that they may substantially differ from those driving relapse biology. To date, progression is assumed to be caused by an interplay of CNS-resident cells and CNS-trapped hematopoietic cells. On the CNS-resident cell side, microglia that are phenotypically and functionally related to cells of the monocyte/macrophage lineage may play a key role. Microglia function is highly transformable. Depending on their molecular signature, microglia can trigger neurotoxic pathways leading to neurodegeneration, or alternatively exert important roles in promoting neuroprotection, downregulation of inflammation, and stimulation of repair. Accordingly, to understand and to possibly alter the role of microglial activation during MS disease progression may provide a unique opportunity for the development of suitable, more effective therapeutics. This review focuses on the current understanding of the role of microglia during disease progression of MS and discusses possible targets for therapeutic intervention.
These documents are avalilable under the license: