Breakthrough in Understanding of Brain Development: Immune Cell Involvement Revealed
Microglial are cells that combat various brain diseases and injuries by swallowing foreign or disruptive objects and releasing molecules that activate repair mechanisms. Recent findings have suggested these brain cells are also active under normal conditions, where they can contribute to maturation and sculpting of neuronal circuits. Researchers centered at the National Institute for Physiological Sciences (NIPS) have now revealed new mechanisms by which microglia sculpt neural circuits. They show that microglia directly contact neurons to induce the formation of new neuron projections that eventually will connect with other neurons and thereby increase and/or strengthen brain connectivity. These new findings could deepen understanding of how developmental disorders such as austism and schizophrenia may occur. To read more, click here.
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