Although traditionally seen as regulators of hematopoiesis, colony-stimulating factors (CSFs) have emerged as important players in the nervous system, both in health and disease. This review summarizes the cellular sources, patterns of expression and physiological roles of the macrophage (CSF-1, IL-34), granulocyte-macrophage (GM-CSF) and granulocyte (G-CSF) colony stimulating factors within the nervous system, with a particular focus on their actions on microglia. CSF-1 and IL-34, via the CSF-1R, are required for the development, proliferation and maintenance of essentially all CNS microglia in a temporal and regional specific manner. In contrast, in steady state, GM-CSF and G-CSF are mainly involved in regulation of microglial function. The alterations in expression of these growth factors and their receptors, that have been reported in several neurological diseases, are described and the outcomes of their therapeutic targeting in mouse models and humans are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy