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Ann Neurol. 1998 Sep;44(3 Suppl 1):S115-20.

Glial cells and inflammation in Parkinson's disease: a role in neurodegeneration?

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INSERM U 289, Hôpital de la Salpêtrière, Paris, France.


The data reviewed here show that, in Parkinson's disease (PD), some dopaminergic neurons are more vulnerable than others to the pathologic process. The glial cells surrounding dopaminergic neurons may be involved in this selective vulnerability. One subpopulation of glial cells, in particular, may play a neuroprotective role by metabolizing dopamine and scavenging oxygen free radicals that are associated with dopamine metabolism. Another subpopulation of glial cells may be deleterious to dopaminergic neurons. This effect may be mediated by the production of nitric oxide and cytokines, which may in turn account for the oxidative stress observed in the substantia nigra of patients with PD. Finally, this inflammatory reaction may result in the induction of apoptosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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