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Open AccessReview

Checkpoints to the Brain: Directing Myeloid Cell Migration to the Central Nervous System

Discipline of Medical Imaging & Radiation Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2141, Australia
Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, Sydney, NSW 2234, Australia
Brain and Mind Centre, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Maurizio Muraca
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(12), 2030;
Received: 30 September 2016 / Revised: 23 November 2016 / Accepted: 25 November 2016 / Published: 2 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Cell Transplantation)
Myeloid cells are a unique subset of leukocytes with a diverse array of functions within the central nervous system during health and disease. Advances in understanding of the unique properties of these cells have inspired interest in their use as delivery vehicles for therapeutic genes, proteins, and drugs, or as “assistants” in the clean-up of aggregated proteins and other molecules when existing drainage systems are no longer adequate. The trafficking of myeloid cells from the periphery to the central nervous system is subject to complex cellular and molecular controls with several ‘checkpoints’ from the blood to their destination in the brain parenchyma. As important components of the neurovascular unit, the functional state changes associated with lineage heterogeneity of myeloid cells are increasingly recognized as important for disease progression. In this review, we discuss some of the cellular elements associated with formation and function of the neurovascular unit, and present an update on the impact of myeloid cells on central nervous system (CNS) diseases in the laboratory and the clinic. We then discuss emerging strategies for harnessing the potential of site-directed myeloid cell homing to the CNS, and identify promising avenues for future research, with particular emphasis on the importance of untangling the functional heterogeneity within existing myeloid subsets. View Full-Text
Keywords: myeloid cell; brain; transplantation; microglia myeloid cell; brain; transplantation; microglia
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MDPI and ACS Style

Harrison-Brown, M.; Liu, G.-J.; Banati, R. Checkpoints to the Brain: Directing Myeloid Cell Migration to the Central Nervous System. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17, 2030.

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