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Detection of pro-inflammatory ion channel activity in human microglia, the brain macrophages.

Blomster, Linda V; Strøbæk, Dorte; Christophersen, Palle

A research group at Saniona A/S has established a method for studying functional ion channel expression and
activity in human microglia, the macrophages of the brain, isolated from epilepsy patients. Various ion channels
on microglia cells are thought to promote or dampen inflammation in the brain, and inhibiting or facilitating
these ion channels by pharmacological means could serve as a novel handle to treat inflammatory diseases.
Through an extensive collaboration between Saniona A/S, the Neurobiology Research Unit at the Copenhagen
University Hospital (Rigshospitalet) and the EU consortium INMiND (HEALTH-F2-2011-278850), we have
been able to study the functional expression of several ion channels in microglia derived from adult human CNS
tissue. The new findings that these channels are in fact functionally expressed in human microglia is of crucial
importance in order to enhance successful translation of previous findings in animal experiments to humans.

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