Jpn. J. Pharmacol. 79 (1), 1-5 (1999)

Current Perspective
Apoptotic Cell Death in Neurons and Glial Cells: Implications for Alzheimer's Disease

Yoshihisa Kitamura (1), Takashi Taniguchi (1) and Shun Shimohama (2)

(1) Department of Neurobiology, Kyoto Pharmaceutical University, Kyoto 607-8412, Japan
(2) Department of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan

Abstract: It is now generally accepted that massive neuronal death due to oxidative stress is a common characteristic of brains in neurodegenerative diseases. Recently, numerous apoptosis-regulating factors and multiple pathways have been identified, and apoptotic cell death has been implicated in neuronal loss in Alzheimer's disease. Although glial cells are more resistant to oxidative stress than neurons, extensive oxidative stress seems to cause apoptotic cell death in glial cells. In fact, signs of apoptosis are observed in both neurons and glial cells in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease. This review summarizes current findings regarding apoptotic processes and discusses the possible involvement of apoptosis-regulating factors in the pathology of Alzheimer's disease.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease, Neuron, Glial cell, Apoptotic cell death

Copyrightę The Japanese Pharmacological Society 1999

[Back to TOC]