Dual Functions of Microglia in Ischemic Stroke

Chuan Qin, Luo Qi Zhou, Xiao Tong Ma, Zi Wei Hu, Sheng Yang, Man Chen, Dale B. Bosco, Long Jun Wu, Dai Shi Tian

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Ischemic stroke is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Resident microglia are the principal immune cells of the brain, and the first to respond to the pathophysiological changes induced by ischemic stroke. Traditionally, it has been thought that microglial activation is deleterious in ischemic stroke, and therapies to suppress it have been intensively explored. However, increasing evidence suggests that microglial activation is also critical for neurogenesis, angiogenesis, and synaptic remodeling, thereby promoting functional recovery after cerebral ischemia. Here, we comprehensively review the dual role of microglia during the different phases of ischemic stroke, and the possible mechanisms controlling the post-ischemic activity of microglia. In addition, we discuss the dynamic interactions between microglia and other cells, such as neurons, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and endothelial cells within the brain parenchyma and the neurovascular unit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)921-933
Number of pages13
JournalNeuroscience Bulletin
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019


  • Inflammation
  • Ischemic stroke
  • Microglia
  • Signaling pathways

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Physiology


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