Microglia and border-associated macrophages (BAMs) are brain-resident self-renewing cells. Here, we examined the fate of microglia, BAMs, and recruited macrophages upon neuroinflammation and through resolution. Upon infection, Trypanosoma brucei parasites invaded the brain via its border regions, triggering brain barrier disruption and monocyte infiltration. Fate mapping combined with single-cell sequencing revealed microglia accumulation around the ventricles and expansion of epiplexus cells. Depletion experiments using genetic targeting revealed that resident macrophages promoted initial parasite defense and subsequently facilitated monocyte infiltration across brain barriers. These recruited monocyte-derived macrophages outnumbered resident macrophages and exhibited more transcriptional plasticity, adopting antimicrobial gene expression profiles. Recruited macrophages were rapidly removed upon disease resolution, leaving no engrafted monocyte-derived cells in the parenchyma, while resident macrophages progressively reverted toward a homeostatic state. Long-term transcriptional alterations were limited for microglia but more pronounced in BAMs. Thus, brain-resident and recruited macrophages exhibit diverging responses and dynamics during infection and resolution.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere9
Pages (from-to)2085-2102
Number of pages18
Issue number11
Early online date2022
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2022


  • BAM
  • Trypanosoma
  • brain infection
  • infectious disease
  • inflammation
  • macrophage
  • microglia
  • monocyte
  • neuroimmunology
  • parasites


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