Signaling pathways regulating neuron–glia interaction and their implications in Alzheimer's disease

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Abstract

Astrocytes are the most abundant cells in the central nervous system. They play critical roles in neuronal homeostasis through their physical properties and neuron–glia signaling pathways. Astrocytes become reactive in response to neuronal injury and this process, referred to as reactive astrogliosis, is a common feature accompanying neurodegenerative conditions, particularly Alzheimer's disease. Reactive astrogliosis represents a continuum of pathobiological processes and is associated with morphological, functional, and gene expression changes of varying degrees. There has been a substantial growth of knowledge regarding the signaling pathways regulating glial biology and pathophysiology in recent years. Here, we attempt to provide an unbiased review of some of the well-known players, namely calcium, proteoglycan, transforming growth factor β, NFκB, and complement, in mediating neuron–glia interaction under physiological conditions as well as in Alzheimer's disease.

This review discusses the role of astrocytic NFκB and calcium as well as astroglial secreted factors, including proteoglycans, TGFβ, and complement in mediating neuronal function and AD pathogenesis through direct interaction with neurons and through cooperation with microglia.

This review discusses the role of astrocytic NFκB and calcium as well as astroglial secreted factors, including proteoglycans, TGFβ, and complement in mediating neuronal function and AD pathogenesis through direct interaction with neurons and through cooperation with microglia.

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