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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2013, Article ID 608654, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/608654
Review Article

Microglial Dysregulation in Psychiatric Disease

1Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, 34 Park Street, W315, New Haven, CT 06519, USA
2Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine, 34 Park Street, W315, New Haven, CT 06519, USA
3Department of Psychology, Yale University School of Medicine, 34 Park Street, W315, New Haven, CT 06519, USA

Received 11 March 2013; Accepted 26 March 2013

Academic Editor: Luisa Minghetti

Copyright © 2013 Luciana Romina Frick 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.

Abstract

Microglia, the brain's resident immune cells, are phagocytes of the macrophage lineage that have a key role in responding to inflammation and immune challenge in the brain. More recently, they have been shown to have a number of important roles beyond immune surveillance and response, including synaptic pruning during development and the support of adult neurogenesis. Microglial abnormalities have been found in several neuropsychiatric conditions, though in most cases it remains unclear whether these are causative or are a reaction to some other underlying pathophysiology. Here we summarize postmortem, animal, neuroimaging, and other evidence for microglial pathology in major depression, schizophrenia, autism, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and Tourette syndrome. We identify gaps in the existing literature and important areas for future research. If microglial pathology proves to be an important causative factor in these or other neuropsychiatric diseases, modulators of microglial function may represent a novel therapeutic strategy.