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This video is adapted from 10.3390/cells11213414
Microglia, the main immune modulators of the central nervous system, have key roles in both the developing and adult brain. These functions include shaping healthy neuronal networks, carrying out immune surveillance, mediating inflammatory responses, and disposing of unwanted material. A wide variety of pathological conditions present with microglia dysregulation, highlighting the importance of these cells in both normal brain function and disease. Studies into microglial function in the context of both health and disease thus have the potential to provide tremendous insight across a broad range of research areas. In vitro culture of microglia, using primary cells, cell lines, or induced pluripotent stem cell derived microglia, allows researchers to generate reproducible, robust, and quantifiable data regarding microglia function. A broad range of assays have been successfully developed and optimised for characterizing microglial morphology, mediation of inflammation, endocytosis, phagocytosis, chemotaxis and random motility, and mediation of immunometabolism.