Creative Biolabs

Microglia Identification Methods

Microglia Identification Methods

Histological imaging of microglia. Fig.1 Histological imaging of microglia.

Microglia are immune macrophages of the central nervous system (CNS). Their static functions include shaping neural circuits by promoting neuron growth and differentiation and synaptic pruning. Recently, genetic research has determined that many genes that are highly expressed in microglia are related to the risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), prefrontal dementia or myoma sclerosis. Therefore, the study of microglia has potential value for the understanding and treatment of neurological diseases.

Microglia Activation

When neurons were damaged or pathogenic stimuli, microglia were activated and become the first-line defenders of the CNS. Proliferation, migration, and a series of morphological and functional transformations were signs of microglia activation. In the early stages of the disease, microglia activation was beneficial due to increased viability and phage activity, promoting the clearance of pathological protein polymers and promoting tissue recovery. However, in the later stages of neurodegeneration, the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and the production of oxides caused by chronic microglial activation were harmful to neuronal function and survival. These two opposing microglial phenotypes are traditionally classified as classic (M1/pro-inflammatory) or alternative (M2/tissue repair) activation phenotypes.

Schematic diagram of the polarization of microglia in CNS. Fig.2 Schematic diagram of the polarization of microglia in CNS. (Cao, 2013)

Microglial activation was mainly studied by examining morphological changes and measuring limited activation markers. It is usually identified by specific antibodies against microglia and imaged by positron emission tomography (PET) and fluorescence microscopy. Recently, genome-wide gene expression analysis has been used to describe the molecular changes of microglia isolated from animal models of neurodegenerative diseases.

  • Specific antibody immune cell staining method
  • Immunohistochemistry (IHC)
  • Hortega silver carbonate method
  • Penfield Tungsten Ammonia Silver Dyeing Method
  • RNA sequencing (RNA-sqe)
  • TSPO (transfer protein) ligand method

Application of Microglia Identification in Neurological Diseases

In degenerative neurological diseases (such as AD), longitudinal genome-wide gene expression analysis was performed on the microglia of rTg4510 mice, and it was found that microglia promoted the activation of proliferation and immune pathways by generating more than 4000 gene expression changes, such as NF-κB signaling, cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction, lysosome, oxidative phosphorylation, and phage pathways. These gene expression changes highly overlap with human co-expression modules, providing insights into the molecular changes behind tau-mediated microglial activation in neurodegenerative diseases.

The field of neuroscience has increasingly realized that regulating nerve inflammation is beneficial to the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Microglia is a key role in the neuritis response, leading to interest in in-depth studies of this specific cell type. Therefore, it is necessary to comprehensively study the molecular changes of different cell types and bioinformatics tools to further deepen the understanding of neurodegenerative diseases and provide opportunities for new treatment targets and biomarker identification.

Creative Biolabs has advanced technology has advanced technology and a complete laboratory platform. We can provide you with professional analysis and strategies in the fields of neuroscience and molecular biology. Please feel free to contact us if you are interested or have any questions.


  1. Cao, L.; He, C. Polarization of macrophages and microglia in inflammatory demyelination. Neuroscience bulletin. 2013, 29(2): 189-198.
For Research Use Only. Not For Clinical Use.
Send Inquiry Send Inquiry
Inquiry Basket

Go to compare