Caspase signalling controls microglia activation and neurotoxicity.

Burguillos MA, Deierborg T, Kavanagh E, Persson A, Hajji N, Garcia-Quintanilla A, Cano J, Brundin P, Englund E, Venero JL, et al.
Nature. 2011 Apr 21; 472(7343):319-24. PMID: 21389984. Abstract
Top50 Topics: 
Physiology, Pathology


The study shows that caspase-8 and caspase-3/7 are involved in regulating microglia activation, therefore, inhibition of these caspases could be neuroprotective by targeting the microglia rather than the neurons themselves.

This paper is important since it brings evidence suggesting that caspase activation previously detected in biochemical studies of AD brains may have been misinterpreted as involved in neuronal apoptosis. Indeed, it is shown that caspase (including caspase-3) activation in microglia regulates their neuroinflammatory activity in the absence of neuronal death.