Central nervous system has the capability to regenerate and it is mostly limited owing to the external environment and internal properties that it comes with. Our traditional thought process believes that once our brain is damaged, it is not possible to repair the tissue and restore to normal status. A recent study, however, has challenged this idea.

Microglia refers to a long-lived myeloid cell that exists in our central nervous system. A report by Elmore and Green et al. discovered microglial progenitor cells in Neuron in the year 2014. These findings of the study displayed for the very first time that microglial progenitors are present in the adult brain, thereby giving potential perception for regenerative medicine.

The Study Made Use of Fate Mapping Approaches in Brain

A recent research paper that has been titled “Repopulated microglia are solely derived from the proliferation of residual microglia after acute depletion” was published on the Nature Neuroscience, a monthly scientific journal, by the laboratory of Bo Peng at the Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology (SIAT), Chinese Academy of Sciences. In this research paper, PENG and his colleagues have discovered successfully the very origin of repopulated microglia in human brain through a series of fate mapping approaches.

Researchers of this study at first made an exclusion of the blood origin of repopulated microglia via parabiosis which is a surgical approach generating chimeric mice with exchanged blood cells. The researchers then exhibited that repopulated microglia were not any different from Nestin-positive progenitor cells.

The results of this study gave sound evidence pertaining to the fact that repopulated microglia were entirely extracted from residual microglia as opposed to de novo progenitors, thereby making a suggestion of the absence of microglial progenitor cells in the adult human brain. Furthermore, making use of RNA sequencing, the researchers discovered that the repopulated microglia might share functions that are similar in nature as the resident microglia in diseased and homeostatic human brains.