Role of microglia in methamphetamine-induced neurotoxicity

Enquan Xu, Jianuo Liu, Han Liu, Xiaobei Wang, Huangui Xiong

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Methamphetamine (Meth) is an addictive psychostimulant widely abused around the world. The chronic use of Meth produces neurotoxicity featured by dopaminergic terminal damage and microgliosis, resulting in serious neurological and behavioral consequences. Ample evidence indicate that Meth causes microglial activation and resultant secretion of pro-inflammatory molecules leading to neural injury. However, the mechanisms underlying Meth-induced microglial activation remain to be determined. In this review, we attempt to address the effects of Meth on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-associated microglia activation both in vitro and in-vivo. Meth abuse not only increases HIV transmission but also exacerbates progression of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) through activation of microglia. In addition, the therapeutic potential of anti-inflammatory drugs on ameliorating Meth-induced microglia activation and resultant neuronal injury is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-100
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Physiology, Pathophysiology and Pharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2017


  • Drug abuse
  • Methamphetamine
  • Microglia
  • Neuroinflammation
  • Neurotoxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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