By 2040 neurodegenerative diseases will become the world's second leading cause of death after cardiovascular disease (WHO). Major efforts are required to elucidate the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases. Connexin and pannexin membrane channel proteins are conduits through which neuronal, glial, and vascular tissues interact. In the normal brain, this interaction underlies homeostasis, metabolic supply and neuroprotection. In models of neuroinflammation these channels present aberrant functioning. Validation of the molecular mechanisms by which these membrane channels influence neurodegeneration particularly in Alzheimer's disease could lead to new and alternative therapeutic strategies targeting these channels.
- Gap junctions
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