Neuroinflammation in Prion Diseases: Concepts and Targets for Therapeutic Intervention

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Prion infections of the central nervous system (CNS) are characterized by a reactive gliosis and the subsequent degeneration of neuronal tissue. The activation of glial cells, which precedes neuronal death, is likely to be initially caused by the deposition of misfolded, in part proteinase K-resistant, isoforms (termed PrPTSE) of the normal cellular prion protein (PrPc) in the brain. Proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines released by PrPTSE-activated glial cells and stressed neurons may contribute directly or indirectly to the disease development by enhancement and generalization of the gliosis and via cytotoxicity for neurons. Recent studies have illustrated that interfering with inflammatory responses may represent a therapeutic approach to slow down the course of disease development. Hence, a better understanding of driving factors in neuroinflammation may well contribute to the development of improved strategies for treatment of prion diseases.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • CNS & Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, molecular biology, genomics and biochemistry of contemporary molecular targets involved in neurological and central nervous system (CNS) disorders e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal will contain a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of current topics on drug targets involved in neurological and CNS disorders. As the discovery, identification, characterization and validation of novel human drug targets for neurological and CNS drug discovery continues to grow; this journal will be essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.
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