Microglia are the resident central nervous system (CNS) macrophage, and can be rapidly activated to the pro-inflammatory state in response to a wide range of CNS insults and diseases.  

Chronic activation of microglia causes the release of pro-inflammatory agents and triggers a cascade of events, which can harm healthy neurons and other CNS cells. Neuroinflammation caused by reactive microglia is present in the majority of neurological diseases and suppression of the reactive microglia is currently recognized as a potent therapeutic target.

Microglia Activation

Neuroinflammation in the brain and spinal cord can be initiated as a response to infection, ischemia, injury, autoimmunity, or neurodegeneration. Upon activation, the microglia convert from a neuroprotective state to a neurotoxic state.