Microglia are the major component of the innate immune system in the central nervous system. They promote the maintenance of brain homeostasis as well as support inflammatory processes that are often related to pathological conditions such as neurodegenerative diseases. Depending on the stimulus received, microglia cells dynamically change their phenotype releasing specific soluble factors and largely modify the cargo of their secreted extracellular vesicles (EVs). Despite the mechanisms at the basis of microglia actions have not been completely clarified, the recognized functions exerted by their EVs in patho-physiological conditions represent the proof of the crucial role of these organelles in tuning cell-to-cell communication, promoting either protective or harmful effects. Consistently, in vitro cell models to better elucidate microglia EV production and mechanisms of their release have been increased in the last years. In this review, the main microglial cellular models that have been developed and validated will be described and discussed, with particular focus on those used to produce and derive EVs. The advantages and disadvantages of their use will be evidenced too. Finally, given the wide interest in applying EVs in diagnosis and therapy too, the heterogeneity of available models for producing microglia EVs is here underlined, to prompt a cross-check or comparison among them.
Advances in microglia cellular models: focus on extracellular vesicle production
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Lorenzo Ceccarelli, Laura Marchetti, Chiara Giacomelli, Claudia Martini; Advances in microglia cellular models: focus on extracellular vesicle production. Biochem Soc Trans 27 August 2021; 49 (4): 1791–1802. doi: https://doi.org/10.1042/BST20210203
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