Macrophages at CNS interfaces: ontogeny and function in health and disease

Katrin Kierdorf, Takahiro Masuda, Marta Joana Costa Jordão, Marco Prinz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

227 Citations (Scopus)


The segregation and limited regenerative capacity of the CNS necessitate a specialized and tightly regulated resident immune system that continuously guards the CNS against invading pathogens and injury. Immunity in the CNS has generally been attributed to neuron-associated microglia in the parenchyma, whose origin and functions have recently been elucidated. However, there are several other specialized macrophage populations at the CNS borders, including dural, leptomeningeal, perivascular and choroid plexus macrophages (collectively known as CNS-associated macrophages (CAMs)), whose origins and roles in health and disease have remained largely uncharted. CAMs are thought to be involved in regulating the fine balance between the proper segregation of the CNS, on the one hand, and the essential exchange between the CNS parenchyma and the periphery, on the other. Recent studies that have been empowered by major technological advances have shed new light on these cells and suggest central roles for CAMs in CNS physiology and in the pathogenesis of diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-562
Number of pages16
JournalNature Reviews Neuroscience
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience


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