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Locus Coeruleus Modulates Neuroinflammation in Parkinsonism and Dementia

Department of Translational Research and New Technologies in Medicine and Surgery, University of Pisa, Via Roma 55, 56126 Pisa, Italy
Neurology Unit, Pisa University Hospital, 56126 Pisa, Italy
I.R.C.C.S. Neuromed, Via Atinense 18, 86077 Pozzilli (IS), Italy
Clinical Ageing Research Unit, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE4 5PL, UK
Institute of Clinical Medicine, PET Centre, Aarhus University, 8200 Aarhus, Denmark
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors equally contributed to the present work.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(22), 8630;
Received: 2 October 2020 / Revised: 10 November 2020 / Accepted: 11 November 2020 / Published: 16 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Collection Neuroinflammatory Processes in Neurodegenerative Diseases)
Locus Coeruleus (LC) is the main noradrenergic nucleus of the central nervous system, and its neurons widely innervate the whole brain. LC is severely degenerated both in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and in Parkinson’s disease (PD), years before the onset of clinical symptoms, through mechanisms that differ among the two disorders. Several experimental studies have shown that noradrenaline modulates neuroinflammation, mainly by acting on microglia/astrocytes function. In the present review, after a brief introduction on the anatomy and physiology of LC, we provide an overview of experimental data supporting a pathogenetic role of LC degeneration in AD and PD. Then, we describe in detail experimental data, obtained in vitro and in vivo in animal models, which support a potential role of neuroinflammation in such a link, and the specific molecules (i.e., released cytokines, glial receptors, including pattern recognition receptors and others) whose expression is altered by LC degeneration and might play a key role in AD/PD pathogenesis. New imaging and biochemical tools have recently been developed in humans to estimate in vivo the integrity of LC, the degree of neuroinflammation, and pathology AD/PD biomarkers; it is auspicable that these will allow in the near future to test the existence of a link between LC-neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration directly in patients. View Full-Text
Keywords: Locus Coeruleus; neuroinflammation; noradrenaline; Alzheimer’s disease; Parkinson’s disease; microglia; cytokines Locus Coeruleus; neuroinflammation; noradrenaline; Alzheimer’s disease; Parkinson’s disease; microglia; cytokines
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MDPI and ACS Style

Giorgi, F.S.; Biagioni, F.; Galgani, A.; Pavese, N.; Lazzeri, G.; Fornai, F. Locus Coeruleus Modulates Neuroinflammation in Parkinsonism and Dementia. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 8630.

AMA Style

Giorgi FS, Biagioni F, Galgani A, Pavese N, Lazzeri G, Fornai F. Locus Coeruleus Modulates Neuroinflammation in Parkinsonism and Dementia. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2020; 21(22):8630.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Giorgi, Filippo S.; Biagioni, Francesca; Galgani, Alessandro; Pavese, Nicola; Lazzeri, Gloria; Fornai, Francesco. 2020. "Locus Coeruleus Modulates Neuroinflammation in Parkinsonism and Dementia" Int. J. Mol. Sci. 21, no. 22: 8630.

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