Role of glial cells in neurotoxin-induced animal models of Parkinson’s disease
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Dopaminergic neurons are selectively vulnerable to oxidative stress and inflammatory attack. The neuronal cell loss in the substantia nigra is associated with a glial response composed markedly of activated microglia and, to a lesser extent, of reactive astrocytes although these glial responses may be the source of neurotrophic factors and can protect against oxidative stress such as reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species. However, the glial response can also mediate a variety of deleterious events related to the production of pro-inflammatory, pro-oxidant reactive species, prostaglandins, cytokines, and so on. In this review, we discuss the possible protective and deleterious effects of glial cells in the neurodegenerative diseases and examine how these factors may contribute to the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease. This review suggests that further investigation concerning glial reaction in Parkinson’s disease may lead to disease-modifying therapeutic approaches and may contribute to the pathogenesis of this disease.