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Int J Med Sci. 2019 Oct 5;16(11):1473-1479. doi: 10.7150/ijms.37769. eCollection 2019.

Function of Glia in Aging and the Brain Diseases.

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Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, University of Valencia, Spain.
University of Texas, Austin, Texas, USA.
Department of Nursing, Faculty of Nursing and Podiatry, University of Valencia, Spain.


Microglia cells during aging, neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation show different morphological and transcriptional profiles (related to axonal direction and cell adhesion). Furthermore, expressions of the receptors on the surface and actin formation compared to young are also different. This review delves into the role of glia during aging and the development of the diseases. The susceptibility of different regions of the brain to disease are linked to the overstimulation of signals related to the immune system during aging, as well as the damaging impact of these cascades on the functionality of different populations of microglia present in each region of the brain. Furthermore, a decrease in microglial phagocytosis has been related to many diseases and also has been detected during aging. In this paper we also describe the role of glia in different illness, such as AD, ALS, pain related disorders, cancer, developmental disorders and the problems produced by opening of the blood brain barrier. Future studies will clarify many points planted by this review.


Aging; brain diseases; glia.

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Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interest exists.

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