Regulation of α-synuclein homeostasis and inflammasome activation by microglial autophagy

Insup Choi, George R. Heaton, You Kyung Lee, Zhenyu Yue

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Autophagy clears protein aggregates, damaged cellular organelles, and pathogens through the lysosome. Although autophagy is highly conserved across all cell types, its activity in each cell is specifically adapted to carry out distinct physiological functions. The role of autophagy in neurons has been well characterized; however, in glial cells, its function remains largely unknown. Microglia are brain-resident macrophages that survey the brain to remove injured neurons, excessive synapses, protein aggregates, and infectious agents. Current studies have demonstrated that dysfunctional microglia contribute to neurodegenerative diseases. In Alzheimer’s disease animal models, microglia play a critical role in regulating amyloid plaque formation and neurotoxicity. However, how microglia are involved in Parkinson’s disease (PD) remains poorly understood. Propagation of aggregated α-synuclein via cell-to-cell transmission and neuroinflammation have emerged as important mechanisms underlying neuropathologies in PD. Here, we review converging evidence that microglial autophagy maintains α-synuclein homeostasis, regulates neuroinflammation, and confers neuroprotection in PD experimental models.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereabn1298
JournalScience advances
Issue number43
StatePublished - 28 Oct 2022


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