Purpose: We purified spinal cord microglia utilizing percoll gradients and magnetic beads, followed by transcriptome profiling (RNA-seq) to define microglia expression profiles against other neural, immune cell-types. We next observed how the microglial transcriptomes change during activation in the SOD1-G93A mouse model of motor neuron degeneration at 3 time points. We also compared these profiles with that induced by LPS injection. Results and conclusions: ALS microglia were found to differ substantially from those activated by LPS and from M1/M2 macrophages by comparison with published datasets. These ALS microglia showing substantial induction of a neurodegeneration-tailored phenotype, with induction of lysosomal, RNA splicing, and Alzheimer's disease pathway genes. Overall they express a mixture of neuroprotective and neurotoxic factors during activation in ALS mice, showing that neuro-immune activation in the spinal cord is a double-edged sword. We also detected the transcriptional nature of surface marker expression in microglia (CD11b, CD86, CD11c), and substantial T-cell microglia cross-talk using correlative microglia transcriptome/FACS analysis. 42 total RNA samples from purified spinal cord microglia were subjected to paired-end RNA-sequencing. Parallel flow cytometry data was collected from the same spinal cords.