The role of glial cells in Alzheimer disease: potential therapeutic implications

  • Lopategui Cabezas I
  • Herrera Batista A
  • Pentón Rol G
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Introduction: Alzheimer (AD) disease is a complex neurodegenerative disease characterised by inflammation, neurotoxicity, oxidative stress, and reactive gliosis. Microglia and astrocytes not only act as antigen-presenting cells, but also function as effector cells releasing pro-inflammatory molecules that promote excitotoxicity and neurodegeneration. Objective: In the present review we discuss the role of glia, specifically microglia and astrocytes, in the pathophysiology of AD and possible therapeutic implications. Development: The growing body of evidence suggesting that microglia and astrocytes play a pathogenic role and activate inflammation pathways, the neurotoxic factors released by these cells when activated, and the way these factors may disrupt the homeostasis of the central nervous system all support the hypothesis that glia-induced inflammation exacerbates AD. Conclusions: Inhibiting inflammation by deactivating glial cells may reduce the production of factors which contribute to neurotoxicity, and therefore result in clinical improvement. Microglia and astrocytes are therapeutic targets for the development of new drugs to combat this disease. Therapeutic strategies designed to counter the detrimental effects of overactivation of these cell populations should be investigated. © 2012 Sociedad Española de Neurología.




Lopategui Cabezas, I., Herrera Batista, A., & Pentón Rol, G. (2014). The role of glial cells in Alzheimer disease: potential therapeutic implications. Neurología (English Edition), 29(5), 305–309.

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