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Microglia

Synonym(s)

  • gitter cell
  • Hortega cell
  • mesoglia
  • microgliocyte
  • perivascular glial cell

Definition(s)

The third type of glial cell, along with astrocytes and oligodendrocytes (which together form the macroglia). Microglia vary in appearance depending on developmental stage, functional state, and anatomical location; subtype terms include ramified, perivascular, ameboid, resting, and activated. Microglia clearly are capable of phagocytosis and play an important role in a wide spectrum of neuropathologies. They have also been suggested to act in several other roles including in secretion (e.g., of cytokines and neural growth factors), in immunological processing (e.g., antigen presentation), and in central nervous system development and remodeling.

Definition from: MeSH via Unified Medical Language SystemThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference. at the National Library of Medicine

Neuroglia consisting of small cells with few processes that are scattered throughout the central nervous system, have a phagocytic function as part of the reticuloendothelial system, and are now usually considered to be of mesodermal origin.

Definition from: Merriam-Webster's Medical DictionaryThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference. by Merriam-Webster Inc.

See also Understanding Medical Terminology.

 
Published: April 13, 2015