Monika Bradl, Medical University Vienna, Vienna, Austria

Microglia diversity and its consequences for neuroprotection and immune regulation

Funded in: 2007, 2008, 2009

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Microglia is a type of cells that acts as the first and main form of active immune defense in the brain and spinal cord tissue. They respond to an injury by secreting a large number of different factors which participate in tissue destruction and tissue repair/protection. For the first time a specific tag (KSPG positive or negative) allows to differentiate between two types of microglial cells. The aim of this project is to test if one cell type is responsible for the tissue destruction and if the other is responsible for the tissue repair/protection. This will hopefully lead to the discovery of other molecules which can be used as “specific signatures” in order to characterize, induce or stabilize the repair/protection mechanism in patients with spinal cord injuries.