Senescent microglia: The key to the ageing brain?

Eleanor K. Greenwood, David R. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Citations (SciVal)


Ageing represents the single biggest risk factor for development of neurodegenerative disease. Despite being such long‐lived cells, microglia have been relatively understudied for their role in the ageing process. Reliably identifying aged microglia has proven challenging, not least due to the diversity of cell populations, and the limitations of available models, further complicated by differences between human and rodent cells. Consequently, the literature contains multiple descriptions and categorisations of microglia with neurotoxic phenotypes, including senescence, without any unifying markers. The role of microglia in brain homeostasis, particularly iron storage and metabolism, may provide a key to reliable identification.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4402
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number9
Early online date22 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Ageing
  • Iron
  • Microglia
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Senescence
  • Senescence Associated Secretory Phenotype

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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