The Ecology of Humans (26-26) Microglia


Microglia are the smallest glia cell. They are the brain’s first responders to nervous system injury and disease: going on-site to coordinate damage clearance and direct reconstruction. Microglia also regulate synaptic connection quality in neurons. In early development, microglia guide nerve wiring connection.

Microglia monitor synaptic function and are involved in synapse maturation or elimination. ~ Italian molecular biologist Rosa Paolicelli et al

The ventricular system comprises 4 cavity structures in the brain – the ventricles – filled with cerebrospinal fluid. The ventricular system is continuous with the central canal of the spinal cord. The ventricles are interconnected.

Cerebrospinal fluid is a clear fluid found in the brain and spine that cushions and helps regulate cerebral blood flow.

Ependymocytes and tanycytes reside in the brain’s ventricular system. Among other tasks they perform defensive functions: coordinating response with the immune system to protect the brain from infection.

Ependymocytes line the spinal cord and the ventricular system of the brain. They regulate creation and circulation of cerebrospinal fluid.

Tanycytes are specialized ependymal cells that provide communication between cerebrospinal fluid and the central nervous system.