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Aluminum Induced Immunoexcitotoxicity in Neurodevelopmental and Neurodegenerative Disorders

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A great deal has been learned about the neurotoxicity of aluminum over the past two decades in terms of its ability to disrupt cellular function. Newer evidence suggests that a more central pathophysiological mechanism may be responsible for much of the toxicity of aluminum and aluminofluoride compounds on the brain. This mechanism involves activation of the brain’s innate immune system, primarily the microglia, with a release of neurotoxic concentrations of excitotoxins and pro-inflammatory cytokines, chemokines and immune mediators. A large number of studies suggest that excitotoxicity plays a significant role in the neurotoxic action of a number of metals, including aluminum. Recently, researchers have found that while most of the chronic neurodegenerative effects of these metals are secondary to prolonged inflammation, it is the enhancement of excitotoxicity by the immune mediators that is responsible for most of the metal’s toxicity. This enhancement occurs via a crosstalk between cytokine receptors and glutamate receptors. The author coined the name immunoexcitotoxicity to describe this process. This paper reviews the evidence linking immunoexcitotoxicity to aluminum's neurotoxic effects.
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Keywords: Aluminum; aluminofluoride complex; basal ganglion; excitotoxicity; immunoexcitotoxicity; microglia; microglial activation; nanoscaled aluminum; neurodegeneration; sickness behavior

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-03-01

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  • Current Inorganic Chemistry, a peer-reviewed journal, publishes reviews, research articles, letters and topical issues on major advances in all areas of inorganic chemistry. It covers the synthesis, structure, thermodynamics, reactivity, spectroscopy, and bonding properties of significant new and known inorganic compounds. Current Inorganic Chemistry, a peer reviewed journal, is an important and reliable source of current information on developments and research and theory in the field. The emphasis will be on publishing quality articles rapidly and freely available worldwide. Current Inorganic Chemistry is an essential journal for every inorganic chemist who wishes to be well informed and up-to-date about the latest and most important developments.
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