Next Article in Journal
The Effect of Chinese Herbal Medicine Formula mKG on Allergic Asthma by Regulating Lung and Plasma Metabolic Alternations
Next Article in Special Issue
Old Maids: Aging and Its Impact on Microglia Function
Previous Article in Journal
The Development of a Novel Therapeutic Strategy to Target Hyaluronan in the Extracellular Matrix of Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma
Previous Article in Special Issue
Microglial Function across the Spectrum of Age and Gender

Autophagy and Microglia: Novel Partners in Neurodegeneration and Aging

Achucarro Basque Center for Neuroscience, 48170 Zamudio, Spain
Department of Neurosciences, University of the Basque Country EHU/UPV, 48940 Leioa, Spain
Ikerbasque Foundation, 48013 Bilbao, Spain
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Styliani-Anna E. Tsirka
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(3), 598;
Received: 31 January 2017 / Revised: 28 February 2017 / Accepted: 5 March 2017 / Published: 9 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microglia in Aging and Neurodegenerative Disease)
Autophagy is emerging as a core regulator of Central Nervous System (CNS) aging and neurodegeneration. In the brain, it has mostly been studied in neurons, where the delivery of toxic molecules and organelles to the lysosome by autophagy is crucial for neuronal health and survival. However, we propose that the (dys)regulation of autophagy in microglia also affects innate immune functions such as phagocytosis and inflammation, which in turn contribute to the pathophysiology of aging and neurodegenerative diseases. Herein, we first describe the basic concepts of autophagy and its regulation, discuss key aspects for its accurate monitoring at the experimental level, and summarize the evidence linking autophagy impairment to CNS senescence and disease. We focus on acute, chronic, and autoimmunity-mediated neurodegeneration, including ischemia/stroke, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s diseases, and multiple sclerosis. Next, we describe the actual and potential impact of autophagy on microglial phagocytic and inflammatory function. Thus, we provide evidence of how autophagy may affect microglial phagocytosis of apoptotic cells, amyloid-β, synaptic material, and myelin debris, and regulate the progression of age-associated neurodegenerative diseases. We also discuss data linking autophagy to the regulation of the microglial inflammatory phenotype, which is known to contribute to age-related brain dysfunction. Overall, we update the current knowledge of autophagy and microglia, and highlight as yet unexplored mechanisms whereby autophagy in microglia may contribute to CNS disease and senescence. View Full-Text
Keywords: microglia; autophagy; phagocytosis; inflammation; aging; neurodegeneration microglia; autophagy; phagocytosis; inflammation; aging; neurodegeneration
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

MDPI and ACS Style

Plaza-Zabala, A.; Sierra-Torre, V.; Sierra, A. Autophagy and Microglia: Novel Partners in Neurodegeneration and Aging. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 598.

AMA Style

Plaza-Zabala A, Sierra-Torre V, Sierra A. Autophagy and Microglia: Novel Partners in Neurodegeneration and Aging. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2017; 18(3):598.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Plaza-Zabala, Ainhoa, Virginia Sierra-Torre, and Amanda Sierra. 2017. "Autophagy and Microglia: Novel Partners in Neurodegeneration and Aging" International Journal of Molecular Sciences 18, no. 3: 598.

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

Back to TopTop