The role of glial cells in Parkinson's disease

M Vila, V Jackson-Lewis, C Guégan, D C Wu, Peter Teismann, D K Choi, K Tieu, S Przedborski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

290 Citations (Scopus)


Parkinson's disease is a common neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the progressive loss of the dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta. The loss of these neurons is associated with a glial response composed mainly of activated microglial cells and, to a lesser extent, of reactive astrocytes. This glial response may be the source of trophic factors and can protect against reactive oxygen species and glutamate. Aside from these beneficial effects, the glial response can mediate a variety of deleterious events related to the production of reactive species, and pro-inflammatory prostaglandin and cytokines. This article reviews the potential protective and deleterious effects of glial cells in the substantia nigra pars compacta of Parkinson's disease.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-489
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Neurology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2001


  • Astrocytes
  • Chemokines
  • Cytokines
  • Dopamine
  • Humans
  • Microglia
  • Neurons
  • Parkinson Disease
  • Substantia Nigra


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