The human brain
The human brain is composed of glial cells and neurons. Glial cells include ASTROCYTES which are responsible for providing NEURONS with nutrients, energy (glucose), neurotransmitters and retinoic acid (RA, green). MICROGLIA are the immune cells (macrophages) that protect the brain from infectious agents, and scavenge plaques or dead neurons. When MICROGLIA cells are activated, they release molecules that induce inflammation and are pro-oxidant. When this activation is chronic such as in neurodegenerative diseases, these molecules become neurotoxic and can induce death of NEURONS. Retinoic acid (RA) the active derivative of vitamin A, is an important molecule critical for a number of biological processes including neurogenesis, brain immune response, and neural plasticity (ability of synapses to adapt to neuronal activity). RA autoregulates its concentrations by stimulating its clearance (elimination) in ASTROCYTES, in activated MICROGLIA and in NEURAL PROGENITOR CELLS.
At DermaXon we are selectively increasing the concentration of RA by decreasing its clearance in brain to:
- Increase neurogenesis;
- Decrease microglial activation, decrease neuroinflammation and oxidative stress;
- Regulate homeostatic synaptic plasticity and improve memory;
- Decrease β-amyloid plaques formation;
- Decrease inflammatory chemokines release of astrocytes.