Creative Biolabs

Microglia Assay

Background of Microglia

Microglia belong to neuroglia that is broadly expressed throughout the central nervous system, which makes up ten to fifteen percent of all cells in the brain. Microglia are a specialized population of resident macrophage cells, serving as the initial and most important kind of active immune function in the central nervous system. Microglia are involved in multiple neuronal processes, including regulation of inflammation by releasing cytokines and chemokines, phagocytosis, brain protection and repair, neuronal excitability, synaptic organization, trophic neuronal support, and myelin turnover. The phenotypic heterogeneity of microglia can be classified into two phenotypes, including classic phenotype M1 and alternative phenotype M2. M1 is mainly responsible for microglial phagocytosis, which presents a pro-inflammatory state and releases multiple pro-inflammatory factors, including, reactive oxygen species (ROS), nitrogen reactive species (NRS), and cytokines, such as interleukin 1β (IL-1β), IL-12, and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α). While M2 activates the microglia presenting an anti-inflammatory state and releasing trophic factors, including brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and tumor growth factor-β (TGF-β). The dynamic changes of M1/M2 phenotypes play an important role in a series of neurodegenerative diseases, including frontotemporal dementia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and spinal cord injury.

Microglial activation is involved in the progression of different neurodegenerative diseases.Fig.1 Microglial activation is involved in the progression of different neurodegenerative diseases. (Bachiller, et al., 2018)

Microglia Assay

Creative Biolabs' scientific team has a long-term commitment to offering comprehensive in vitro microglia-related assays. Microglia phagocytosis assay enables to the determination of the degree of M1 phagocytosis which could possibly induce neuroinflammation. Microglia activation is an important biological process that co-interacts with phagocytosis. Our microglia activation assay could be used in M2 activation studies to evaluate cytokine profile or calcium flux. For the induction of inflammation, we provide reproducible human-induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived microglia- and macrophage-like cells to induce inflammation. In addition, we offer a microglia chemotaxis assay to detect the M1 migration to the site of injury, which is important to recruit phagocytosis and additional immune responses. Our neurons, astrocytes and microglia co-culture assays display a ramified morphology resembling physiological conditions, which emerge as a powerful tool to study neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation in neurodegenerative diseases. Our services include not only studying the different properties of M1 and M2 phenotypes, but also screening you for drugs that reduce phagocytosis-induced neuroinflammation, activate microglia, and induce microglia migration. For more details, please click the following links:

Creative Biolabs is confident in delivering satisfactory and highly customizable microglia assay services for our global clients. The understanding of microglia on a full scale enables the researchers to explore novel treatment for neurodegenerative diseases. Leveraging our platform allows researchers to understand the mechanisms of action of drug candidates as well as screen for drugs that can be used to enhance or restore microglial phagocytosis, activation, and migration, reducing the cost and risk of early-phase drug discovery. If you want to find out more about the microglia assay, please don't hesitate to contact us.


  1. Bachiller, S.; et al. Microglia in neurological diseases: a road map to brain-disease dependent-inflammatory response. Frontiers in cellular neuroscience. 2018: 488.
For Research Use Only. Not For Clinical Use.
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