Microglia Diversity in Health and Multiple Sclerosis.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by multiple focal lesions, ongoing demyelination and, for most people, a lack of remyelination. MS lesions are enriched with monocyte-derived macrophages and brain-resident microglia that, together, are likely responsible for much of the immune-mediated neurotoxicity. However, microglia and macrophage also have documented neuroprotective and regenerative roles, suggesting a potential diversity in their functions. Linked with microglial functional diversity, they take on diverse phenotypes developmentally, regionally and across disease conditions. Advances in technologies such as single-cell RNA sequencing and mass cytometry of immune cells has led to dramatic developments in understanding the phenotypic changes of microglia and macrophages. This review highlights the origins of microglia, their heterogeneity throughout normal ageing and their contribution to pathology and repair, with a specific focus on autoimmunity and MS. As phenotype dictates function, the emerging heterogeneity of microglia and macrophage populations in MS offers new insights into the potential immune mechanisms that result in inflammation and regeneration.