Glia as a turning point in the therapeutic strategy of Parkinson's disease

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Parkinsons'disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the presence of tremor, muscle rigidity, slowness of voluntary movements and postural instability. One of the pathological hallmarks of PD is loss of dopaminergic (DAergic) neurons in the subtantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc). The cause and mechanisms underlying the demise of nigrostriatal DAergic neurons are not fully understood, but interactions between genes and environmental factors are recognized to play a critical role in modulating the vulnerability to PD. Current evidence points to reactive glia as a pivotal factor in PD, but whether astroglia activation may protect or exacerbate DAergic neuron loss is the subject of much debate. Astrocytes and microglia are the key players in neuroinflammatory responses, secreting an array of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines, anti-oxidants and neurotrophic factors. These mediators act as double-edged swords, exerting both detrimental and neuroprotective effects. Here, the contribution of astrocytes and microglia in mediating the effects of both genetic and environmental factors, including hormones, endotoxins and neurotoxins, and their ability to influence DAergic neurodegeneration, neuroprotection and neurorepair will be discussed. Approaches capable to regulate glial-associated oxidative stress and mitochondrial damage, by decreasing inflammatory burden, restoring mitochondrial function and DAergic neuron metabolism, might hold great promise for therapeutic interventions. Therapies that support astrocyte function, replacing astrocytes either modified or unmodified in culture, may represent novel approaches targeting astrocytes to promote DAergic neurorescue. Dissecting the molecular determinants of glia-neuron crosstalk will give us the possibility to test novel strategies to promote restoration of injured nigrostriatal DAergic neurons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-372
Number of pages24
JournalCNS and Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets
Volume9
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Fingerprint

Neuroglia
Astrocytes
Dopaminergic Neurons
Parkinson Disease
Microglia
Therapeutics
Muscle Rigidity
Nerve Growth Factors
Neurotoxins
Neuroprotective Agents
Tremor
Oxidants
Endotoxins
Neurodegenerative Diseases
Oxidative Stress
Anti-Inflammatory Agents
Hormones
Cytokines
Neurons
Genes

Keywords

  • Astrocytes
  • Dopaminergic neurons
  • Environmental toxins
  • Hormones
  • Inflammation
  • Microglia
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Neurogenesis
  • Neuroprotection
  • Parkinson's disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pharmacology

Cite this

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title = "Glia as a turning point in the therapeutic strategy of Parkinson's disease",
abstract = "Parkinsons'disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the presence of tremor, muscle rigidity, slowness of voluntary movements and postural instability. One of the pathological hallmarks of PD is loss of dopaminergic (DAergic) neurons in the subtantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc). The cause and mechanisms underlying the demise of nigrostriatal DAergic neurons are not fully understood, but interactions between genes and environmental factors are recognized to play a critical role in modulating the vulnerability to PD. Current evidence points to reactive glia as a pivotal factor in PD, but whether astroglia activation may protect or exacerbate DAergic neuron loss is the subject of much debate. Astrocytes and microglia are the key players in neuroinflammatory responses, secreting an array of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines, anti-oxidants and neurotrophic factors. These mediators act as double-edged swords, exerting both detrimental and neuroprotective effects. Here, the contribution of astrocytes and microglia in mediating the effects of both genetic and environmental factors, including hormones, endotoxins and neurotoxins, and their ability to influence DAergic neurodegeneration, neuroprotection and neurorepair will be discussed. Approaches capable to regulate glial-associated oxidative stress and mitochondrial damage, by decreasing inflammatory burden, restoring mitochondrial function and DAergic neuron metabolism, might hold great promise for therapeutic interventions. Therapies that support astrocyte function, replacing astrocytes either modified or unmodified in culture, may represent novel approaches targeting astrocytes to promote DAergic neurorescue. Dissecting the molecular determinants of glia-neuron crosstalk will give us the possibility to test novel strategies to promote restoration of injured nigrostriatal DAergic neurons.",
keywords = "Astrocytes, Dopaminergic neurons, Environmental toxins, Hormones, Inflammation, Microglia, Neurodegeneration, Neurogenesis, Neuroprotection, Parkinson's disease",
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AU - L'Episcopo, Francesca

AU - Tirolo, Cataldo

AU - Testa, Nuccio

AU - Caniglia, Salvo

AU - Morale, Maria Concetta

AU - Marchetti, Bianca

PY - 2010

Y1 - 2010

N2 - Parkinsons'disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the presence of tremor, muscle rigidity, slowness of voluntary movements and postural instability. One of the pathological hallmarks of PD is loss of dopaminergic (DAergic) neurons in the subtantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc). The cause and mechanisms underlying the demise of nigrostriatal DAergic neurons are not fully understood, but interactions between genes and environmental factors are recognized to play a critical role in modulating the vulnerability to PD. Current evidence points to reactive glia as a pivotal factor in PD, but whether astroglia activation may protect or exacerbate DAergic neuron loss is the subject of much debate. Astrocytes and microglia are the key players in neuroinflammatory responses, secreting an array of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines, anti-oxidants and neurotrophic factors. These mediators act as double-edged swords, exerting both detrimental and neuroprotective effects. Here, the contribution of astrocytes and microglia in mediating the effects of both genetic and environmental factors, including hormones, endotoxins and neurotoxins, and their ability to influence DAergic neurodegeneration, neuroprotection and neurorepair will be discussed. Approaches capable to regulate glial-associated oxidative stress and mitochondrial damage, by decreasing inflammatory burden, restoring mitochondrial function and DAergic neuron metabolism, might hold great promise for therapeutic interventions. Therapies that support astrocyte function, replacing astrocytes either modified or unmodified in culture, may represent novel approaches targeting astrocytes to promote DAergic neurorescue. Dissecting the molecular determinants of glia-neuron crosstalk will give us the possibility to test novel strategies to promote restoration of injured nigrostriatal DAergic neurons.

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