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Current Medicinal Chemistry


ISSN (Print): 0929-8673
ISSN (Online): 1875-533X

Nanomedicine and its Application in Treatment of Microglia-mediated Neuroinflammation

Author(s): N. Baby, R. Patnala, Eng-Ang Ling and S.T. Dheen

Volume 21 , Issue 37 , 2014

Page: [4215 - 4226] Pages: 12

DOI: 10.2174/0929867321666140716101258

Price: $65


Nanomedicine, an emerging therapeutic tool in current medical frontiers, offers targeted drug delivery for many neurodegenerative disorders. Neuroinflammation, a hallmark of many neurodegenerative disorders, is mediated by microglia, the resident immunocompetent cells of the central nervous system (CNS). Microglial cells respond to various stimuli in the CNS resulting in their activation which may have a beneficial or a detrimental effect. In general, the activated microglia remove damaged neurons and infectious agents by phagocytosis, therefore being neuroprotective. However, their chronic activation exacerbates neuronal damage through excessive release of proinflammatory cytokines, chemokines and other inflammatory mediators which contribute to neuroinflammation and subsequent neurodegeneration in the CNS. Hence, controlling microglial inflammatory response and their proliferation has been considered as an important aspect in treating neurodegenerative disorders. Regulatory factors that control microglial activation and proliferation also play an important role in microglia-mediated neuroinflammation and neurotoxicity. Various anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal compounds have been identified in treating microglia-mediated neuroinflammation in the CNS. However, hurdles in crossing blood brain barrier (BBB), expression of metabolic enzymes, presence of efflux pumps and several other factors prevent the entry of these drugs into the CNS. Use of non-degradable delivery systems and microglial activation in response to the drug delivery system further complicate drug delivery to the CNS. Nanomedicine, a nanoparticle-mediated drug delivery system, exhibits immense potential to overcome these hurdles in drug delivery to the CNS enabling new alternatives with significant promises in revolutionising the field of neurodegenerative disease therapy. This review attempts to summarise various regulatory factors in microglia, existing therapeutic strategies in controlling microglial activation, and how nanotechnology can serve to improve the delivery of therapeutic drugs across the BBB for treating microglia- mediated neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration.

Keywords: Microglia, nano particles, neurodegeneration.

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