CNS border-associated macrophages in the homeostatic and ischaemic brain.
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Cited by: 8


CNS border-associated macrophages (BAMs) are a small population of specialised macrophages localised in the choroid plexus, meningeal and perivascular spaces. Until recently, the function of this elusive cell type was poorly understood and largely overlooked, especially in comparison to microglia, the primary brain resident immune cell. However, the recent single cell immunophenotyping or transcriptomic analysis of BAM subsets in the homeostatic brain, coupled with the rapid emergence of new studies exploring BAM functions in various cerebral pathologies, including Alzheimer's disease, hypertension-induced neurovascular and cognitive dysfunction, and ischaemic stroke, has unveiled previously unrecognised heterogeneity and spatial-temporal complexity in BAM populations as well as their contributions to brain homeostasis and disease. In this review, we discuss the implications of this new-found knowledge on our current understanding of BAM function in ischaemic stroke. We first provide a comprehensive overview and discussion of the cell-surface expression profiles, transcriptional signatures and potential functional phenotypes of homeostatic BAM subsets described in recent studies. Evidence for their putative physiological roles is examined, including their involvement in immunological surveillance, waste clearance, and vascular permeability. We discuss the evidence supporting the accumulation and genetic transformation of BAMs in response to ischaemia and appraise the experimental evidence that BAM function might be deleterious in the acute phase of stroke, while considering the mechanisms by which BAMs may influence stroke outcomes in the longer term. Finally, we review the therapeutic potential of immunomodulatory strategies as an approach to stroke management, highlighting current challenges in the field and key issues relating to BAMs, and how BAMs could be harnessed experimentally to support future translational research.


CNS-border associated macrophages
Homeostatic microglia
Ischaemic stroke

MeSH terms

Brain Ischemia
Ischemic Stroke


Gerganova, Gabriela
Riddell, Alexandra
Miller, Alyson A