Role of microglia in regulation of ethanol neurotoxic action

Lucy G. Chastain, Dipak K. Sarkar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

54 Scopus citations


Exposure to alcohol, during development or adulthood, may result in damage to the nervous system, which underlies neurological and cognitive disruptions observed in patients with alcohol-related disorders, including fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) and alcohol-use disorders (AUDs). Both clinical and preclinical evidence suggest microglia, the immune cells of the central nervous system, play a key role in modulating alcohol-induced neurotoxicity. Particularly, microglia are implicated in alcohol-induced neuroinflammation and in alcohol-induced increases in oxidative stress, which can lead to neuronal apoptosis. Recent studies also suggest a regenerative role for microglia in reestablishing homeostasis after alcohol exposure. These studies are summarized and reviewed in this chapter with emphasis on relevance to FASD and AUD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Review of Neurobiology
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages23
StatePublished - 2014

Publication series

NameInternational Review of Neurobiology
ISSN (Print)0074-7742

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


  • Alcohol
  • Alcohol-use disorder
  • Apoptosis
  • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder
  • Inflammation
  • Microglia
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Reactive oxygen species


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