In Vitro Microglia Models as a Screening Platform to Support Neuroinflammation Drug Discovery Programs

Neuroinflammation is instigated by microglia – the resident immune cells of the brain. Microglia are responsible for phagocytosis and elimination of cell debris and protein aggregates, as well as other antigens that may endanger the central nervous system (CNS). Moreover, microglia also secrete many soluble factors that contribute to various aspects of immune response and repair of the CNS.

At Sygnature, we have validated a selection of in vitro microglia models: rat embryonic and adult primary microglia and human monocyte-derived microglia (MDMi). Rodent and human models were characterised by cell surface markers, and ability to recapitulate microglia phenotype and function by measuring phagocytosis and cytosolic calcium. P2X7 receptor pharmacology was used to study receptor signalling in microglia. Hence, we validated models amenable to screening campaigns to identify novel targets and drugs in neuroinflammation that provide a deeper mechanistic understanding of the drug’s effect by measuring multiple endpoints.

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