The rôle of the microglia in destructive lesions of the central nervous system is now well established. The production of gitter cells by these elements in response to a destructive process has been demonstrated many times, and their rapidity of response under such conditions is clear. That the microglia are therefore the important phagocytes of the central nervous system cannot be doubted. The rôle which these elements play in the toxic states of the nervous system is not so clear. While they respond quickly to destructive processes, their reaction in toxic conditions is said to be neither rapid nor significant. Indeed, it is stated that these cells are particularly resistant to toxic conditions of any sort.
The purpose of this investigation was to study the reaction of the microglia in toxic conditions of the nervous system in order to establish the rôle which these elements play under these circumstances.
ELI MARCOVITZ, BERNARD J. ALPERS. SWELLING OF THE MICROGLIAREACTION TO INTOXICATION. Arch NeurPsych. 1934;31(5):1045–1054. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1934.02250050163007