Ischemic retinopathies (IR) are vision-threatening disorders that afflict many people, according to the authors of a review published in Pflugers Archiv. Photocoagulation and anti-VEGF therapy are current treatment methods, but they have negative effects and are often ineffective in preventing disease development. As a result, additional molecular targets should be considered to develop novel therapy techniques that are both safer and more effective. During the onset of IR, the retina, which is generally immune-privileged, was exposed to increased cellular stress and inflammation levels, which attract and activate resident mononuclear phagocytes (MPs) from the bloodstream (microglia). Activated MPs have a wide range of functions in the retinal tissue, with the ability to both oppose and worsen the detrimental tissue microenvironment. The authors examined what is known about the function of inflammation and activated retinal MPs in the two most common IRs–retinopathy of prematurity and diabetic retinopathy. MPs and their secreted factors and cell-cell interactions between MPs and endothelial cells are of particular interest. Activated MPs play a key role in the onset and progression of IRs, and hence could be a promising new target for novel pharmaceutical interventions in these diseases.