Immunosenescence of microglia and macrophages: impact on the ageing central nervous system.

TitleImmunosenescence of microglia and macrophages: impact on the ageing central nervous system.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuteursRawji, KS, Mishra, MK, Michaels, NJ, Rivest, S, Stys, PK, V Yong, W
IssuePt 3
Date Published2016 Mar
KeywordsAging, Animals, Central Nervous System, Humans, Immunosenescence, Macrophages, Microglia, Nervous System Diseases

Ageing of the central nervous system results in a loss of both grey and white matter, leading to cognitive decline. Additional injury to both the grey and white matter is documented in many neurological disorders with ageing, including Alzheimer's disease, traumatic brain and spinal cord injury, stroke, and multiple sclerosis. Accompanying neuronal and glial damage is an inflammatory response consisting of activated macrophages and microglia, innate immune cells demonstrated to be both beneficial and detrimental in neurological repair. This article will propose the following: (i) infiltrating macrophages age differently from central nervous system-intrinsic microglia; (ii) several mechanisms underlie the differential ageing process of these two distinct cell types; and (iii) therapeutic strategies that selectively target these diverse mechanisms may rejuvenate macrophages and microglia for repair in the ageing central nervous system. Most responses of macrophages are diminished with senescence, but activated microglia increase their expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines while diminishing chemotactic and phagocytic activities. The senescence of macrophages and microglia has a negative impact on several neurological diseases, and the mechanisms underlying their age-dependent phenotypic changes vary from extrinsic microenvironmental changes to intrinsic changes in genomic integrity. We discuss the negative effects of age on neurological diseases, examine the response of senescent macrophages and microglia in these conditions, and propose a theoretical framework of therapeutic strategies that target the different mechanisms contributing to the ageing phenotype in these two distinct cell types. Rejuvenation of ageing macrophage/microglia may preserve neurological integrity and promote regeneration in the ageing central nervous system.

Alternate JournalBrain
PubMed ID26912633