Activated glial cells (microglia and astrocytes) are a hallmark of a variety of neurodegenerative diseases. Recent in vitro studies have suggested that mediators derived from reactive glial cells leg, cytokines, reactive oxygen intermediates, nitric oxide, glutamate or quinolinic acids, and neurotoxins) contribute to neuronal injury. Several of these mediators have been implicated in the neuropathogenesis of HIV-1. Although the precise role of glial cell-mediated neurotoxicity in viral infections of the central nervous system has not been established, it is hoped that research in this field will yield new therapies for these infections as well as for immune-mediated neurodegenerative diseases.
- Nitric oxide