Microglia, the primary immune cells of the brain, when persistently activated, contribute to the well-documented inflammatory changes and impaired neuronal function which occurs with age. Microglial activation is also a characteristic of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and may play a role in the pathogenesis of the disease. The overall objective of research in the Lynch lab is to understand the factors which contribute to microglial activation and to identify mechanisms which modulate different aspects of microglial activation and therefore restore the deficits in neuronal function that accompany neuroinflammation. These studies are conducted in young and aged animals, and in animal models of AD. Current work focuses on (a) examining the factors that lead to infiltration of immune cells into the brain, and the consequences of this infiltration on glial and neuronal function and (b) assessing whether specific changes in microglia which occur in aged animals and in animal models of AD are mirrored by changes in macrophages, with the objective of utilizing the data to identify markers of cognitive dysfunction in clinical samples.
The image shows that the presence of FITC-labelled Aβ (green) in microglia (top panels) and astrocytes (bottom panel).
For further information about Dr Marina Lynch please view her CV Profile