Microglia and astrocyte involvement in neurodegeneration and brain cancer

Arthur A. Vandenbark, Halina Offner, Szymon Matejuk, Agata Matejuk

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The brain is unique and the most complex organ of the body, containing neurons and several types of glial cells of different origins and properties that protect and ensure normal brain structure and function. Neurological disorders are the result of a failure of the nervous system multifaceted cellular networks. Although great progress has been made in the understanding of glia involvement in neuropathology, therapeutic outcomes are still not satisfactory. Here, we discuss recent perspectives on the role of microglia and astrocytes in neurological disorders, including the two most common neurodegenerative conditions, Alzheimer disease and progranulin-related frontotemporal lobar dementia, as well as astrocytoma brain tumors. We emphasize key factors of microglia and astrocytic biology such as the highly heterogeneic glial nature strongly dependent on the environment, genetic factors that predispose to certain pathologies and glia senescence that inevitably changes the CNS landscape. Our understanding of diverse glial contributions to neurological diseases can lead advances in glial biology and their functional recovery after CNS malfunction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number298
JournalJournal of Neuroinflammation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Alzheimer disease
  • Astrocytes
  • Astrocytoma
  • CNS
  • FTLD
  • Microglia
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Neuroinflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Immunology
  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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