New concepts in macrophage ontogeny in the adult neural retina.
The number of neurons dedicated to vision itself is thought to be greater than the sum of the four other senses combined. Yet, little attention has been payed to the retina as compared to elsewhere in the central nervous system with respect to microglia, the macrophages of the neural parenchyma. Indeed, major advancements in the understanding of microglial ontogeny and maintenance in brain and spinal cord are now widely appreciated, whereas less notice has been given to the neural retina in this regard. The current Review covers topical concepts on adult microglia and perivascular macrophage ontogenies in the steady state retina, as well as parallels made with these macrophages in other areas of the central nervous system. The subject of recruited monocytes and their descendant monocyte-derived macrophages in degenerative diseases of the retina is also integrated into this Review. Key experiments that have led to the theories covered are highlighted throughout, as are the knowledge gaps that remain unresolved.
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