Neuron-Astrocyte Interactions in Parkinson's Disease

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72 Citations (Scopus)


Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease. PD patients exhibit motor symptoms such as akinesia/bradykinesia, tremor, rigidity, and postural instability due to a loss of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons. Although the pathogenesis in sporadic PD remains unknown, there is a consensus on the involvement of non-neuronal cells in the progression of PD pathology. Astrocytes are the most numerous glial cells in the central nervous system. Normally, astrocytes protect neurons by releasing neurotrophic factors, producing antioxidants, and disposing of neuronal waste products. However, in pathological situations, astrocytes are known to produce inflammatory cytokines. In addition, various studies have reported that astrocyte dysfunction also leads to neurodegeneration in PD. In this article, we summarize the interaction of astrocytes and dopaminergic neurons, review the pathogenic role of astrocytes in PD, and discuss therapeutic strategies for the prevention of dopaminergic neurodegeneration. This review highlights neuron-astrocyte interaction as a target for the development of disease-modifying drugs for PD in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 7 2020


  • Parkinson’s disease
  • astrocyte
  • dopaminergic neuron
  • mitochondria
  • neuroinflammation
  • neuroprotection
  • α-synuclein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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