IMR Press / FBS / Volume 4 / Issue 4 / DOI: 10.2741/S342

Frontiers in Bioscience-Scholar (FBS) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 1 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Manipulation of microglial activity as a therapy for Alzheimer's disease
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1 Department of Anatomy, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore 11759

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Front. Biosci. (Schol Ed) 2012, 4(4), 1402–1412;
Published: 1 June 2012

The review aims to elucidate the potential of microglia as a therapeutic target in alleviating Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Microglia are the resident immune cells in the brain which respond to the presence of the hallmarks of AD, amyloid-beta (A beta) plaques and neurofibrillary tangles (NFT). Activated microglia are able to phagocytose and secrete pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines. However, the eventual accumulation of excess A beta peptides and NFT in AD means that microglial clearance of pathogens has been impaired. Pro-inflammatory cytokines may also contribute to the neurodegeneration. Based on the amyloid cascade hypothesis, A beta-activated microglia can produce pro-inflammatory cytokines which may exacerbate the hyperphosporylation of tau proteins that forms NFT in AD pathology. Microglial activation can thus be manipulated to prevent neurodegeneration and promote neuroprotection through several therapeutic agents and methods. Further studies regarding comprehensive microglial response towards A beta and NFT are required to develop an effective treatment of AD involving microglia.

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