The A1 astrocyte paradigm: New avenues for pharmacological intervention in neurodegeneration

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


We recently demonstrated that NLY01, a novel glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist, exerts neuroprotective effects in two mouse models of PD in a glia-dependent manner. NLY01 prevented microglia from releasing inflammatory mediators known to convert astrocytes into a neurotoxic A1 reactive subtype. Importantly, we provided evidence that this neuroprotection was not mediated by a direct action of NLY01 on neurons or astrocytes (e.g., by activating neurotrophic pathways or modulating astrocyte reactivity per se). In the present article, we provide a generalist review of microglia and astrocytes in neurodegeneration and discuss the emerging paradigm of A1 astrocyte neurotoxicity in more detail. We comment on specific inferences that are naturally suggested by our work in this area and the differential level of support it offers to each. Finally, we discuss implications for the overall goal of creating disease-modifying therapies for PD, survey emerging methodologies for accelerating translational research on glia in neurodegeneration, and describe expected challenges for developing glia-directed therapies that do not impede essential physiological functions carried out by glia in the CNS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)959-969
Number of pages11
JournalMovement Disorders
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2019


  • NLY01
  • Parkinson's disease
  • astrocytes
  • microglia
  • neurodegeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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