A Review on the Topic of Microglia in Aging

Microglia are immune cells of the central nervous system (CNS). As is the case for the rest of the immune system, they are involved in the rising levels of chronic inflammation that accompany aging, inflammation that contributes to the development of neurodegenerative disease. Here is an open access review on this topic and the prospects for intervention:

Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), share two characteristics in common: (1) a disease prevalence that increases markedly with advancing age, and (2) neuroinflammatory changes in which microglia, the primary resident immune cell of the CNS, feature prominently. These characteristics have led to the hypothesis that pathogenic mechanisms underlying age-related neurodegenerative disease involve aging changes in microglia. If correct, targeting features of microglial senescence may constitute a feasible therapeutic strategy.

This review explores this hypothesis and its implications by considering the current knowledge on how microglia undergo change during aging and how the emergence of these aging phenotypes relate to significant alterations in microglial function. Evidence and theories on cellular mechanisms implicated in driving senescence in microglia are reviewed, as are "rejuvenative" measures and strategies that aim to reverse or ameliorate the aging microglial phenotype. Understanding and controlling microglial aging may represent an opportunity for elucidating disease mechanisms and for formulating novel therapies.

Link: http://www.frontiersin.org/Cellular_Neuroscience/10.3389/fncel.2013.00022/full


This is an exceptionally good paper.

A couple of minor omissions, though.
Microglia activation apparently can also be blocked by caffeine and curcumin.

"Curcumin is a potent modulator of microglial gene expression and migration"
"Caffeine attenuates lipopolysaccharide-induced neuroinflammation"
"Down-regulation of microglial activation may represent a practical strategy for combating neurodegenerative disorders"

Posted by: Lou Pagnucco at March 19th, 2013 1:14 PM

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