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Logo of bmcbiologyBioMed Centralsearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleBMC Biology
BMC Biol. 2012; 10: 7.
Published online 2012 January 31. doi:  10.1186/1741-7007-10-7
PMCID: PMC3269391

A novel role for microglia in minimizing excitotoxicity


Microglia are the abundant, resident myeloid cells of the central nervous system (CNS) that become rapidly activated in response to injury or inflammation. While most studies of microglia focus on this phenomenon, little is known about the function of 'resting' microglia, which possess fine, branching cellular processes. Biber and colleagues, in a recent paper in Journal of Neuroinflammation, report that ramified microglia can limit excitotoxicity, an important insight for understanding mechanisms that limit neuron death in CNS disease.

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