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Introduction: Microglial cells are endogenous immune cells of the central nervous system and are involved in immune surveillance, defense and maintenance of homeostasis. In case of spinal cord injury, microglial cells respond to various stimuli, greatly influencing the inflammation process and its final effects on patient’s clinical status. Aim: The purpose of this review of the modern literature is to describe the reaction of microglia after spinal cord injury, the beneficial and harmful functions it performs as well as the interaction of microglial cells with other cells in the area of the lesion. This will highlight the importance of microglial cells for the development of the lesion and the need for their further study. Material and Method: Recent articles and studies in English language were searched in the electronic databases PUBMED and GOOGLE SCHOLAR. The keywords used were "microglia cells", "microglia", "spinal cord injury". Results: The microglial cells perform important functions under normal conditions but also during spinal cord injury. Their distinct roles have been described more accurately in recent years. Microglial cells are involved in a non-specific immune response that can exacerbate damage, but are also essential for spinal cord repair and restoration procedures. They participate to a decisive extent in the inflammatory reaction after spinal cord injury, having positive and negative effects. Modern experimental studies and the discovery of new microglia-specific markers have led to the acquisition of new knowledge, highlighting the importance of interactions between microglial and other cells after spinal cord injury in regulating inflammation, in controlling the overall damage and in its functional result. Conclusions: A better understanding of how microglial cells are involved in the pathophysiology of spinal cord injury will lead to improved strategies for modifying cellular function, in order to maintain beneficial effects while eliminating catastrophic ones. To this end, the need for further studies of the response of microglial cells to spinal cord injury becomes necessary, always aiming to achieve optimal recovery of the patient after such an injury.
|Category:||Volume 60, N 3|
|Authors:||Vasiliki D. Ntafou , Eleftheria-Maria A. Evangelopoulos|