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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 285246, 12 pages
Review Article

The Controversial Role of Microglia in Malignant Gliomas

Department of Neurosurgery, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030-1402, USA

Received 16 April 2013; Accepted 19 June 2013

Academic Editor: Anirban Ghosh

Copyright © 2013 Jun Wei et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Malignant gliomas contain stroma and a variety of immune cells including abundant activated microglia/macrophages. Mounting evidence indicates that the glioma microenvironment converts the glioma-associated microglia/macrophages (GAMs) into glioma-supportive, immunosuppressive cells; however, GAMs can retain intrinsic anti-tumor properties. Here, we review and discuss this duality and the potential therapeutic strategies that may inhibit their glioma-supportive and propagating functions.