Microglial Phenotypes and Their Relationship to the Cannabinoid System: Therapeutic Implications for Parkinson's Disease.
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JournalMolecules (Basel, Switzerland)
AbstractParkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder, the motor symptoms of which are associated classically with Lewy body formation and nigrostriatal degeneration. Neuroinflammation has been implicated in the progression of this disease, by which microglia become chronically activated in response to α-synuclein pathology and dying neurons, thereby acquiring dishomeostatic phenotypes that are cytotoxic and can cause further neuronal death. Microglia have a functional endocannabinoid signaling system, expressing the cannabinoid receptors in addition to being capable of synthesizing and degrading endocannabinoids. Alterations in the cannabinoid system-particularly an upregulation in the immunomodulatory CB2 receptor-have been demonstrated to be related to the microglial activation state and hence the microglial phenotype. This paper will review studies that examine the relationship between the cannabinoid system and microglial activation, and how this association could be manipulated for therapeutic benefit in Parkinson's disease.
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