Physiology of Microglia

Olga Garaschuk, Alexei Verkhratsky

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Microglial cells derive from fetal macrophages which immigrate into and disseminate throughout the central nervous system (CNS) in early embryogenesis. After settling in the nerve tissue, microglial progenitors acquire an idiosyncratic morphological phenotype with small cell body and moving thin and highly ramified processes currently defined as “resting or surveillant microglia”. Physiology of microglia is manifested by second messenger-mediated cellular excitability, low resting membrane conductance, and expression of receptors to pathogen- or damage-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs and DAMPs), as well as receptors to classical neurotransmitters and neurohormones. This specific physiological profile reflects adaptive changes of myeloid cells to the CNS environment.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMicroglia
Subtitle of host publicationMethods and Protocols
EditorsOlga Garaschuk, Alexei Verkhratsky
PublisherHumana Press, Inc
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4939-9658-2
ISBN (Print)978-1-4939-9657-5
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2019

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745
ISSN (Electronic)1940-6029


  • Chemokines
  • Cytokines
  • Damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs)
  • Ion channels
  • Microglia
  • Neurotransmitter receptors
  • Pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs)
  • Toll-like receptors (TLR)


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