The (not so micro)glia

Matthias Mulazzani
Created | 2022

Microglia are the best supporting actors of the brain. If neurons (nerve cells) are Batman, microglia cells are Robin. Although neurons dominate the field of neuroscience (the study of the brain and its functions), without the microglial support system, neurons wouldn’t function.

Microglia are brain-resident immune cells that play major roles in normal development and in many diseases such as dementia, infection, inflammation, stroke and even cancer.

Shown here is a three-dimensional reconstruction of microglia cells (yellow) and blood vessels (blue) in the brain, illuminated using light-sheet microscopy. To enhance visualisation of these cells in such detail, a drug was used to reduce microglia numbers.

Researcher Matthias aims to further uncover the function of microglia during brain tumour growth, and how these cells can affect the efficacy of immunotherapy.