Macrophages/microglia in the glioblastoma tumor microenvironment

Jun Ma, Clark C. Chen, Ming Li

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The complex interaction between glioblastoma and its microenvironment has been recognized for decades. Among various immune profiles, the major population is tumor-associated macrophage, with microglia as its localized homolog. The present definition of such myeloid cells is based on a series of cell markers. These good sentinel cells experience significant changes, facilitating glioblastoma development and protecting it from therapeutic treatments. Huge, complicated mechanisms are involved during the overall processes. A lot of effort has been dedicated to crack the mysterious codes in macrophage/microglia recruiting, activating, reprogramming, and functioning. We have made our path. With more and more key factors identified, a lot of new therapeutic methods could be explored to break the ominous loop, to enhance tumor sensitivity to treatments, and to improve the prognosis of glioblastoma patients. However, it might be a synergistic system rather than a series of clear, stepwise events. There are still significant challenges before the light of truth can shine onto the field. Here, we summarize recent advances in this field, reviewing the path we have been on and where we are now.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5775
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Glioblastoma
  • Glioblastoma-associated macrophages/microglia
  • Macrophage
  • Microglia
  • Tumor microenvironment


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