Microglia astrocyte interaction in Alzheimer's disease: friends or foes for the nervous system?
Brain glial cells secrete several molecules that can modulate the survival of neurons after various types of damage to the CNS. Activated microglia and astrocytes closely associate to amyloid plaques in Alzheimer Disease (AD). They could have a role in the neurotoxicity observed in AD because of the inflammatory reaction they generate. There is controversy regarding the individual part played by the different glial cells, and the interrelationships between them. Both astrocytes and microglia produce several cytokines involved in the inflammatory reaction. Moreover, the same cytokines may have different effects, depending on their concentration and the type of cells in the vicinity. In turn, the events occurring in response to injury may lead to changes in the nature and relative concentration of the various factors involved. To learn about these putative glial interrelationships, we examined some effects of astrocytes on microglial activation