Molecular Neurobiology

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 28–38 | Cite as

The Role of Inflammatory and Oxidative Stress Mechanisms in the Pathogenesis of Parkinson’s Disease: Focus on Astrocytes

  • Rituraj NiranjanEmail author


Neuroinflammation plays a key role in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Epidemiologic, animal, human, and therapeutic studies support the role of oxidative stress and inflammatory cascade in initiation and progression of PD. In Parkinson’s disease pathophysiology, activated glia affects neuronal injury and death through production of neurotoxic factors like glutamate, S100B, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), prostaglandins, and reactive oxygen and nitrogen species. As disease progresses, inflammatory secretions engage neighboring cells, including astrocytes and endothelial cells, resulting in a vicious cycle of autocrine and paracrine amplification of inflammation leading to neurodegeneration. The exact mechanism of these inflammatory mediators in the disease progression is still poorly understood. In this review, we highlight and discuss the mechanisms of oxidative stress and inflammatory mediators by which they contribute to the disease progression. Particularly, we focus on the altered role of astroglial cells that presumably initiate and execute dopaminergic neurodegeneration in PD. In conclusion, we focus on the molecular mechanism of neurodegeneration, which contributes to the basic understanding of the role of neuroinflammation in PD pathophysiology.


Parkinson’s disease Inflammatory mediators Oxidative stress 



Nerve growth factor


Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor


Mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor


Basic fibroblast growth factor


Parkinson’s disease


Reactive oxygen species


Reactive nitrogen species


Tumor necrosis factor-α


Nuclear factor kappa-B




Glial fibrillary acidic protein


C/EBP homologous protein 10


Inducible nitric oxide synthase







P-p38 MAPK

Phosphorylated p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase





Lab space and facilities provided by Dr. Anil Mishra at the School of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Liver Disease, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA, is gratefully acknowledged.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Gastroenterology and Liver DiseasesCase Western Reserve University, School of MedicineClevelandUSA

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