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Current Medicinal Chemistry


ISSN (Print): 0929-8673
ISSN (Online): 1875-533X

Serotonin 1A Receptors on Astrocytes as a Potential Target for the Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease

Author(s): Ikuko Miyazaki and Masato Asanuma

Volume 23, Issue 7, 2016

Page: [686 - 700] Pages: 15

DOI: 10.2174/0929867323666160122115057

open access plus


Astrocytes are the most abundant neuron-supporting glial cells in the central nervous system. The neuroprotective role of astrocytes has been demonstrated in various neurological disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, spinal cord injury, stroke and Parkinson’s disease (PD). Astrocyte dysfunction or loss-of-astrocytes increases the susceptibility of neurons to cell death, while astrocyte transplantation in animal studies has therapeutic advantage. We reported recently that stimulation of serotonin 1A (5-HT1A) receptors on astrocytes promoted astrocyte proliferation and upregulated antioxidative molecules to act as a neuroprotectant in parkinsonian mice. PD is a progressive neurodegenerative disease with motor symptoms such as tremor, bradykinesia, rigidity and postural instability, that are based on selective loss of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons, and with non-motor symptoms such as orthostatic hypotension and constipation based on peripheral neurodegeneration. Although dopaminergic therapy for managing the motor disability associated with PD is being assessed at present, the main challenge remains the development of neuroprotective or disease- modifying treatments. Therefore, it is desirable to find treatments that can reduce the progression of dopaminergic cell death. In this article, we summarize first the neuroprotective properties of astrocytes targeting certain molecules related to PD. Next, we review neuroprotective effects induced by stimulation of 5-HT1A receptors on astrocytes. The review discusses new promising therapeutic strategies based on neuroprotection against oxidative stress and prevention of dopaminergic neurodegeneration.

Keywords: 5-HT1A receptor, S100β, astrocyte, Parkinson’s disease, neuroprotection, dopaminergic neuron.

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