Neurons, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes locally regulate protein translation within distal processes. Here, we tested whether there is regulated local translation within peripheral microglial processes (PeMPs) from mouse brain. We show that PeMPs contain ribosomes that engage in de novo protein synthesis, and these are associated with transcripts involved in pathogen defense, motility and phagocytosis. Using a live slice preparation, we further show that acute translation blockade impairs the formation of PeMP phagocytic cups, the localization of lysosomal proteins within them, and phagocytosis of apoptotic cells and pathogen-like particles. Finally, PeMPs severed from their somata exhibit and require de novo local protein synthesis to effectively surround pathogen-like particles. Collectively, these data argue for regulated local translation in PeMPs and indicate a need for new translation to support dynamic microglial functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1185-1195
Number of pages11
JournalNature neuroscience
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2023


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