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Peripheral nerve injuries induce a pronounced immune reaction within the spinal cord, largely governed by microglia activation in both the dorsal and ventral horns. The mechanisms of activation and response of microglia are diverse depending on the location within the spinal cord, type, severity, and proximity of injury, as well as the age and species of the organism. Thanks to recent advancements in neuro-immune research techniques, such as single-cell transcriptomics, novel genetic mouse models, and live imaging, a vast amount of literature has come to light regarding the mechanisms of microglial activation and alluding to the function of microgliosis around injured motoneurons and sensory afferents. Herein, we provide a comparative analysis of the dorsal and ventral horns in relation to mechanisms of microglia activation (CSF1, DAP12, CCR2, Fractalkine signaling, Toll-like receptors, and purinergic signaling), and functionality in neuroprotection, degeneration, regeneration, synaptic plasticity, and spinal circuit reorganization following peripheral nerve injury. This review aims to shed new light on unsettled controversies regarding the diversity of spinal microglial-neuronal interactions following injury.


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