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Pharmaceuticals 2010, 3(6), 1949-1965; doi:10.3390/ph3061949
Review

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs and Brain Inflammation: Effects on Microglial Functions

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,
 and
*
Experimental Neurology Section, Department of Cell Biology and Neurosciences, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena 299, 00161 Rome, Italy
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 April 2010 / Revised: 21 May 2010 / Accepted: 11 June 2010 / Published: 14 June 2010
(This article belongs to the collection Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs)
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Abstract

The term NSAID refers to structurally diverse chemical compounds that share the ability to inhibit the activity of the prostaglandin (PG) biosynthetic enzymes, the cyclooxygenase (COX) isoforms 1 and 2. The suppression of PG synthesis at sites of inflammation has been regarded as primarily responsible for the beneficial properties of NSAIDs, but several COX-independent effects have been described in recent years. Epidemiological studies indicate that NSAIDs are neuroprotective, although the mechanisms underlying their beneficial effect remain largely unknown. Microglial cells play a major role in brain inflammation and are often viewed as major contributors to the neurodegeneration. Therefore, microglia represent a likely target for NSAIDs within the brain. In the present review, we focused on the direct effects of NSAIDs and selective COX-2 inhibitors on microglial functions and discuss the potential efficacy in controlling brain inflammation.
Keywords: brain; cyclooxygenase; microglia; neuroprotection; NSAIDs; PPAR- γ; transcription factors brain; cyclooxygenase; microglia; neuroprotection; NSAIDs; PPAR- γ; transcription factors
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
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Ajmone-Cat, M.A.; Bernardo, A.; Greco, A.; Minghetti, L. Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs and Brain Inflammation: Effects on Microglial Functions. Pharmaceuticals 2010, 3, 1949-1965.

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