A new discovery has found way for a better understanding of brain diseases. The method employs high-resolution method to analyze single cells. The finding is the work of a team of researchers under the aegis of the Medical Center at the University of Freiburg.
Consequent upon this, researchers have mapped the brain’s own immune systems in human as well as mice. The mapping is entirely new from the ones in use until now. For the first time, scientists have been successful to demonstrate with certainty about phagocytes of the brain. Commonly known as microglia, their core signature remains same, but it metamorphoses depending the function.
Furthermore, researchers from a few organizations across Germany and Belgium demonstrated at length how the brain’s immune system changes in the course of multiple sclerosis. The finding is significant for therapeutic approaches in the future. The findings of the study appeared in the February 14, 2019 issue of the journal Nature.
Blood-brain barrier Necessitates Self-Immune Defense for Brain
Corroborating text book opinion used so far, a senior fellow at the Medical Center stated, “The brains’ immune cells are extremely versatile all-rounders, not specialists.” Physiologically, due to blood-brain barrier, immune cells in the blood cannot reach the spinal cord and brain. Hence, the brain needs its own immune response: the microglia. The microglia develop at a very initial stage of embryonic development, and later eliminate invading microbes and dead nerve cells.
The phagocytes have additional functional too. They contribute to the growth and lifelong malleability of the brain. Prior to this, this remained unclear if microglia existed in few types for various functions, to serve healthy and diseased brain.