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Neural Regen Res. 2020 Feb;15(2):199-211. doi: 10.4103/1673-5374.265541.

Genetic targeting of astrocytes to combat neurodegenerative disease.

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Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP), Stony Brook Medicine; Department of Neurobiology & Behavior, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, USA.
Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP), Stony Brook Medicine, Stony Brook, NY, USA.


Astrocytes, glial cells that interact extensively with neurons and other support cells throughout the central nervous system, have recently come under the spotlight for their potential contribution to, or potential regenerative role in a host of neurodegenerative disorders. It is becoming increasingly clear that astrocytes, in concert with microglial cells, activate intrinsic immunological pathways in the setting of neurodegenerative injury, although the direct and indirect consequences of such activation are still largely unknown. We review the current literature on the astrocyte's role in several neurodegenerative diseases, as well as highlighting recent advances in genetic manipulation of astrocytes that may prove critical to modulating their response to neurological injury, potentially combatting neurodegenerative damage.


Alzheimer’s disease; Parkinson’s disease; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; glia; immune system; inflammation; reactive astrocyte; regeneration

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