Outdoor Ambient Air Pollution and Neurodegenerative Diseases: the Neuroinflammation Hypothesis

Richard L. Jayaraj, Eric A. Rodriguez, Yi Wang, Michelle L. Block

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose of Review: Accumulating research indicates that ambient outdoor air pollution impacts the brain and may affect neurodegenerative diseases, yet the potential underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Recent Findings: The neuroinflammation hypothesis holds that elevation of cytokines and reactive oxygen species in the brain mediates the deleterious effects of urban air pollution on the central nervous system (CNS). Studies in human and animal research document that neuroinflammation occurs in response to several inhaled pollutants. Microglia are a prominent source of cytokines and reactive oxygen species in the brain, implicated in the progressive neuron damage in diverse neurodegenerative diseases, and activated by inhaled components of urban air pollution through both direct and indirect pathways. The MAC1-NOX2 pathway has been identified as a mechanism through which microglia respond to different forms of air pollution, suggesting a potential common deleterious pathway. Summary: Multiple direct and indirect pathways in response to air pollution exposure likely interact in concert to exert CNS effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)166-179
Number of pages14
JournalCurrent environmental health reports
Volume4
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017

Keywords

  • Air pollution
  • Microglia
  • Neurodegenerative disease
  • Neuroinflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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