New findings lay to rest a debate over the origin and cell lineage of macrophages found in mouse brains -- they come from progenitor cells in the embryonic yolk sac and are self-renewing, and are not derived from bone marrow precursors like other macrophages in the body.
A mouse macrophage
Image: Wikimedia commons, Obli
The results, published online today (21 October) in Science Express, may also hold implications for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases."It has been quite controversial where [microglia] come from in embryonic life," said neurologist linkurl:Richard Ransohoff; of the Cleveland Clinic, who was not involved in the research. This study "showed unequivocally that microglia come from these yolk sac progenitors."Microglia are macrophages that reside in the central nervous system. They are important for maintaining healthy brain function and have been associated with many neurodegenerative and brain inflammatory diseases, but where they come from -- both initially and throughout...
Nature NeuroscienceThe ScientistThe ScientistF. Ginhoux, et al., "Fate mapping analysis reveals that adult microgliaderive from primitive macrophages," linkurl:SciencExpress,; 10.1126/science.1194637, 2010.

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