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Papers of the Week

Papers: 28 Nov 2020 - 4 Dec 2020

2020 Nov 25

Neurochem Int

Ion Channels and Transporters in Microglial Function in Physiology and Brain Diseases.


Luo L, Song S, Ezenwukwa CC, Jalali S, Sun B, Sun D
Neurochem Int. 2020 Nov 25:104925.
PMID: 33248207.


Microglial cells interact with all components of the central nervous system (CNS) and are increasingly recognized to play essential roles during brain development, homeostasis and disease pathologies. Functions of microglia include maintaining tissue integrity, clearing cellular debris and dead neurons through the process of phagocytosis, and providing tissue repair by releasing anti-inflammatory cytokines and neurotrophic factors. Changes of microglial ionic homeostasis (Na, Ca, K, H, Cl) are important for microglial activation, including proliferation, migration, cytokine release and reactive oxygen species production, etc. These are mediated by ion channels and ion transporters in microglial cells. Here, we review the current knowledge about the role of major microglial ion channels and transporters, including several types of Ca channels (store-operated Ca entry (SOCE) channels, transient receptor potential (TRP) channels and voltage-gated Ca channels (VGCCs)) and Na channels (voltage-gated Na channels (Nav) and acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs)), K channels (inward rectifier K channels (K), voltage-gated K channels (K) and calcium-activated K channels (K)), proton channels (voltage-gated proton channel (Hv1)), and Cl channels (volume (or swelling)-regulated Cl channels (VRCCs) and chloride intracellular channels (CLICs)). In addition, ion transporter proteins such as Na/Ca exchanger (NCX), Na-K-Cl cotransporter (NKCC1), and Na/H exchanger (NHE1) are also involved in microglial function in physiology and brain diseases. We discussed microglial activation and neuroinflammation in relation to the ion channel/transporter stimulation under brain disease conditions and therapeutic aspects of targeting microglial ion channels/transporters for neurodegenerative disease, ischemic stroke, traumatic brain injury and neuropathic pain.