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Astrocyte Signaling and Multiple Sclerosis

[ Vol. 7 , Issue. 1 ]


Miguel D'haeseleer, Melissa Cambron and Jacques De Keyser   Pages 14 - 19 ( 6 )


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is characterized by demyelinating lesions disseminated throughout the central nervous system, and a progressive axonal degeneration. In this review we propose that an impaired cAMP signaling in white mater astrocytes, caused by a deficiency of β2-adrenergic receptors, may play a role in the pathogenesis of the disease. Reduced astrocytic cAMP signaling may, in a proinflammatory environment, facilitate astrocytes to become facultative antigen presenting cells, stimulating the development of inflammatory demyelinating lesions. It may reduce astrocytic glycogenolysis, which supplies energy and N-acetylaspartate (NAA) to axons and oligodendrocytes, reduce trophic and neuroprotective support to oligodendrocytes and neurons, and enhance astrogliosis.


Multiple sclerosis, astrocytes, β2-adrenergic receptors, cAMP, demyelination, axonal degeneration, astrocyte signaling, immune hypothesis, impaired energy metabolism, plasma cells


Department of Neurology, University Hospital Brussel, Laarbeeklaan 101, 1090 Brussel, Belgium.

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