Research Topic

Microglia in Neurodegenerative Disorders: in Sickness and in Health

About this Research Topic

Neurodegenerative diseases are a group of chronic and progressive disorders of high prevalence that currently have no effective treatments. Since the cause of these diseases is unknown in many cases, it is important to determine the risk factors involved in their etiology and progression. Neuroinflammation, a common feature shared by neurodegenerative diseases, is becoming a major topic in neuroscience, being microglial and astroglial cells in the spotlight of the researchers. In recent years, new and intriguing functions are attributed to both types of glial cells. Thus, both microglia and astroglia can adopt two different phenotypes, termed “M1/M2” and “A1/A2” for microglia and astroglia respectively, although this nomenclature is under current redefinition. The “M1/A1” phenotypes are neurotoxic while the “M2/A2” are neuroprotective. Understanding how inflammation arises in neurodegenerative disorders as well as the modulation of the different states of glial cells, may provide an exciting opportunity for novel neuroprotective therapeutics.

The focus of this Research Topic will be reviewing the current literature regarding the novel findings and the new therapeutic targets in the modulation of glial cells promoting health or disease.

The issue will include articles (both experimental and reviews) on the molecular mechanisms that govern the polarization of microglia and astroglia towards neurotoxic or neuroprotective phenotypes, mainly in neurodegenerative diseases. Contributions that address the role of these cells in disorders such as cancer or stroke are also welcome.


Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, microglia, neuroinflammation, Parkinson’s disease


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Neurodegenerative diseases are a group of chronic and progressive disorders of high prevalence that currently have no effective treatments. Since the cause of these diseases is unknown in many cases, it is important to determine the risk factors involved in their etiology and progression. Neuroinflammation, a common feature shared by neurodegenerative diseases, is becoming a major topic in neuroscience, being microglial and astroglial cells in the spotlight of the researchers. In recent years, new and intriguing functions are attributed to both types of glial cells. Thus, both microglia and astroglia can adopt two different phenotypes, termed “M1/M2” and “A1/A2” for microglia and astroglia respectively, although this nomenclature is under current redefinition. The “M1/A1” phenotypes are neurotoxic while the “M2/A2” are neuroprotective. Understanding how inflammation arises in neurodegenerative disorders as well as the modulation of the different states of glial cells, may provide an exciting opportunity for novel neuroprotective therapeutics.

The focus of this Research Topic will be reviewing the current literature regarding the novel findings and the new therapeutic targets in the modulation of glial cells promoting health or disease.

The issue will include articles (both experimental and reviews) on the molecular mechanisms that govern the polarization of microglia and astroglia towards neurotoxic or neuroprotective phenotypes, mainly in neurodegenerative diseases. Contributions that address the role of these cells in disorders such as cancer or stroke are also welcome.


Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, microglia, neuroinflammation, Parkinson’s disease


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

30 April 2018 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

30 April 2018 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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