Microglial interactions with the neurovascular system in physiology and pathology

Xiaoliang Zhao, Ukpong B. Eyo, Madhuvika Murugan, Long Jun Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Microglia as immune cells of the central nervous system (CNS) play significant roles not only in pathology but also in physiology, such as shaping of the CNS during development and its proper maintenance in maturity. Emerging research is showing a close association between microglia and the neurovasculature that is critical for brain energy supply. In this review, we summarize the current literature on microglial interaction with the vascular system in the normal and diseased brain. First, we highlight data that indicate interesting potential involvement of microglia in developmental angiogenesis. Then we discuss the evidence for microglial participation with the vasculature in neuropathologies from brain tumors to acute injuries such as ischemic stroke to chronic neurodegenerative conditions. We conclude by suggesting future areas of research to advance the field in light of current technical progress and outstanding questions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)604-617
Number of pages14
JournalDevelopmental Neurobiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


  • angiogenesis
  • microglia
  • neurodegeneration
  • neurovasculature
  • stroke


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