Notch signaling pathway is a major player in normal development in neurons, oligodendrocytes and astrocytes
as well as neurological disorders of the central nervous system (CNS). Microglia, one of the major types of glial cells in
the CNS, partakes in diverse roles within the CNS mainly related to normal brain development and inflammatory diseases,
yet the involvement of Notch signaling pathway in microglia has remained elusive and has only recently been recognized
suggesting its putative role in microglial maturation and activation. Notch ligands and receptors are constitutively
expressed by microglia in developing brain. Notch signaling pathway is important for the maintenance of microglial
population during early development as in other glial cells in normal development. Remarkably, Notch signaling pathway
is also involved in microglial activation and inflammation process in neuroinflammatory diseases in both postnatal and
adult rats. Targeting Notch signaling is therefore a promising strategy for prevention of neurodevelopmental diseases and
development of future therapies for the treatment of neuroinflammatory disorders. This review highlights some recent
findings of Notch signaling in microglia, both in normal development and pathological conditions.
Keywords: Differentiation, microglia, NF-kB, Notch signaling, proinflammatory cytokines.
Rights & PermissionsPrintExport