Full Text: http://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(14)00729-6
Recent findings challenge the concept that microglia solely function in disease states in the central nervous system (CNS). Rather than simply reacting to CNS injury, infection, or pathology, emerging lines of evidence indicate that microglia sculpt the structure of the CNS, refine neuronal circuitry and network connectivity, and contribute to plasticity. These physiological functions of microglia in the normal CNS begin during development and persist into maturity. Here, we develop a conceptual framework for functions of microglia beyond neuroinflammation and discuss the rich repertoire of signaling and communication motifs in microglia that are critical both in pathology and for the normal physiology of the CNS.