#SFN15 Recap: Dr. Beth Stevens and the Amazing Multi-functional Microglia

Dr. Beth Stevens. Credit: John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. We all know that microglia respond to damage, clear up pathogens, toxic proteins and debris. However, Dr. Beth Stevens wants you to know that microglia are so much more than that. Microglia are dynamic cells that continuously survey the healthy brain. So what do microglia do in their spare time? At the Presidential Lecture titled “Immune Mechanisms of Synapse Loss in Health and Disease”, during the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago, Stevens presented her lab’s prolific work demonstrating the crucial role of microglia in shaping neural circuits. Microglia modulate synaptic connections through pruning. Too much or too little pruning can shift a healthy brain into an unhealthy state. Microglia-mediated synaptic pruning is essential to development and dysregulation of…


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