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Journal Article

Pathological glial reactions in neurodegenerative disorders: Prospects for future therapeutics


Schubert,  Peter
Emeritus Group: Neuromorphology / Kreutzberg, MPI of Neurobiology, Max Planck Society;

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Schubert, P., & Ferroni, S. (2003). Pathological glial reactions in neurodegenerative disorders: Prospects for future therapeutics. Expert review of neurotherapeutics, 3(3), 279-287. doi:10.1002/pmic.200390041.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000A-6115-1
Pathological activation of the immune-competent glial cells is an obligatory event in neurodegenerative diseases. The secondary recruitment of astrocytes, resulting from an upgraded microglial activation, represents a critical point. Reactive astrocytes have to give up physiologically important functions (control of extracellular homeostasis and of synaptic transmission) and build a synergistic alliance with microglia in promoting oxidative, excitotoxic and beta-amyloid-induced neuronal damage. Growing understanding of the pathogenically relevant molecular signaling pathways opens new possibilities of pharmacological corrections at the second messenger level. Here, the respective know-how of endogenous modulators, such as adenosine, might be used. The aim should be a titration of the glia reaction in order to maintain supposed beneficial functions of reactive microglia and to prevent the dangerous involvement of astrocytes.