Targeting Aged Astrocytes May Be a New Therapeutic Strategy in Parkinson's Disease.

11 Jun 2018

Commentary on: Chinta, S. J. Woods, G. Demaria M. et al. Cellular Senescence Is Induced by the Environmental Neurotoxin Paraquat and Contributes to Neuropathology Linked to Parkinson’s Disease. Cell Reports 2018; 22: 930-940. Parkinson’s disease (PD) becomes increasingly common with advancing age. It is therefore possible that cell senescence contributes to its pathophysiology. In a recent paper in Cell Reports, Chinta et al1 have shown that astrocytes exhibiting an age-associated (senescent) phenotype are toxic to neurons in vitro, and their removal is associated with better outcomes in a mouse model of PD. This finding may be relevant to other neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in which cellular senescence is also implicated.2