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Drug Discov Today. 2018 Mar;23(3):673-680. doi: 10.1016/j.drudis.2018.01.011. Epub 2018 Jan 6.

Astrocytes as targets for drug discovery.

Author information

1
National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.
2
National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA. Electronic address: wzheng@mail.nih.gov.

Abstract

Recent studies have illuminated the crucial role of astrocytes in maintaining proper neuronal health and function. Abnormalities in astrocytic functions have now been implicated in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Historically, drug development programs for neurodegenerative diseases generally target only neurons, overlooking the contributions of astrocytes. Therefore, targeting both disease neurons and astrocytes offers a new approach for drug development for the treatment of neurological diseases. Looking forward, the co-culturing of human neurons with astrocytes could be the next evolutionary step in drug discovery for neurodegenerative diseases.

PMID:
29317338
PMCID:
PMC5937927
DOI:
10.1016/j.drudis.2018.01.011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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