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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 465694, 13 pages
Review Article

Role of Microglia Adenosine A2A Receptors in Retinal and Brain Neurodegenerative Diseases

1Centre of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences, IBILI, Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra, 3000-548 Coimbra, Portugal
2AIBILI, 3000-548 Coimbra, Portugal
3Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, Largo Marquês de Pombal, Universidade de Coimbra, 3004-517 Coimbra, Portugal
4Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra, Azinhaga de Santa Comba, Celas, 3000-548 Coimbra, Portugal
5Department of Life Sciences, Calçada Martim de Freitas, 3000-456 Coimbra, Portugal

Received 2 May 2014; Accepted 20 June 2014; Published 16 July 2014

Academic Editor: Jesús Pintor

Copyright © 2014 Ana R. Santiago et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Neuroinflammation mediated by microglial cells in the brain has been commonly associated with neurodegenerative diseases. Whether this microglia-mediated neuroinflammation is cause or consequence of neurodegeneration is still a matter of controversy. However, it is unequivocal that chronic neuroinflammation plays a role in disease progression and halting that process represents a potential therapeutic strategy. The neuromodulator adenosine emerges as a promising targeting candidate based on its ability to regulate microglial proliferation, chemotaxis, and reactivity through the activation of its G protein coupled receptor ( ). This is in striking agreement with the ability of blockade to control several brain diseases. Retinal degenerative diseases have been also associated with microglia-mediated neuroinflammation, but the role of has been scarcely explored. This review aims to compare inflammatory features of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases with glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, discussing the therapeutic potential of in these degenerative conditions.