The central nervous system is inhabited by a specialized ensemble of myeloid cells that are highly dynamic and survey their immediate surroundings, which include the parenchyma, perivascular spaces, pia mater, dura mater, and choroid plexus. These cells are long-lived, help maintain homeostasis, participate in reparative responses following injury, and protect the CNS from invading microbes. The CNS is also surveyed and sometimes invaded by circulating, blood-derived myeloid cells that can contribute to diametrically opposed outcomes, like vascular breakdown vs. repair, depending on the inflammatory context. This lecture will focus on recent developments in our understanding of CNS myeloid cells, both resident and blood-derived. A special emphasis will be placed on how myeloid cells specifically survey and respond in different anatomical compartments, such as the dura mater, subarachnoid space, vasculature, and parenchyma. Myeloid cell responses are customized to meet the demands of the specific anatomical niche and are guided by precise inflammatory cues. This lecture will also showcase myeloid cell responses that give rise to both favorable and unfavorable outcomes.
This seminar is part of the Department of Physiology Friday Seminar Series and is co-sponsored by the McGill University Research Centre on Complex Traits (MRCCT).