Microglia: Neuroimmune-sensors of stress. Journal Article uri icon



  • Exposure to stressors disrupts homeostasis and results in the release of stress hormones including glucocorticoids, epinepherine and norepinepherine. Interestingly, stress also has profound affects on microglia, which are tissue-resident macrophages in the brain parenchyma. Microglia express a diverse array of receptors, which also allows them to respond to stress hormones derived from peripheral as well as central sources. Here, we review studies of how exposure to acute and chronic stressors alters the immunophenotype and function of microglia. Further, we examine a causal for stress hormones in these effects of stress on microglia. We propose that microglia serve as immunosensors of the stress response, which puts them in the unique position to sense and respond rapidly to alterations in homeostasis and integrate the neural response to threats.

publication date

  • January 8, 2019

Full Author List

  • Frank MG; Fonken LK; Watkins LR; Maier SF

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