The origin, fate, and contribution of macrophages to spinal cord injury pathology

Lindsay M. Milich, Christine B. Ryan, Jae K. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Virtually all phases of spinal cord injury pathogenesis, including inflammation, cell proliferation and differentiation, as well as tissue remodeling, are mediated in part by infiltrating monocyte-derived macrophages. It is now clear that these infiltrating macrophages have distinct functions from resident microglia and are capable of mediating both harmful and beneficial effects after injury. These divergent effects have been largely attributed to environmental cues, such as specific cytokines, that influence the macrophage polarization state. In this review, we also consider the possibility that different macrophage origins, including the spleen, bone marrow, and local self-renewal, may also affect macrophage fate, and ultimately their function that contribute to the complex pathobiology of spinal cord injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalActa neuropathologica
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Glial and fibrotic scar
  • Inflammation
  • Leukocytes
  • Myeloid cells
  • Peripheral
  • Regeneration
  • Systemic
  • Wound healing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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