Microglial activation and dopamine terminal loss in early Parkinson's disease
ABSTRACT Neuroinflammatory glial response may contribute to degenerative processes in Parkinson's disease (PD). To investigate changes in microglial activity associated with changes in the presynaptic dopamine transporter density in the PD brain in vivo, we studied 10 early-stage drug-naive PD patients twice using positron emission tomography with a radiotracer for activated microglia [(11)C](R)-PK11195 and a dopamine transporter marker [(11)C]CFT. Quantitative levels of binding potentials (BPs) of [(11)C](R)-PK11195 and [(11)C]CFT in the nigrostriatal pathway were estimated by compartment analyses. The levels of [(11)C](R)-PK11195 BP in the midbrain contralateral to the clinically affected side were significantly higher in PD than that in 10 age-matched healthy subjects. The midbrain [(11)C](R)-PK11195 BP levels significantly correlated inversely with [(11)C]CFT BP in the putamen and correlated positively with the motor severity assessed by the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale in PD. In healthy subjects, the [(11)C](R)-PK11195 BP in the thalamus and midbrain showed an age-dependent increase. In vivo demonstration of parallel changes in microglial activation and corresponding dopaminergic terminal loss in the affected nigrostriatal pathway in early PD supports that neuroinflammatory responses by intrinsic microglia contribute significantly to the progressive degeneration process of the disease and suggests the importance of early therapeutic intervention with neuroprotective drugs.
SourceAvailable from: Maria Trinidad Herrero[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Chronic inflammation is a major characteristic feature of Parkinson's disease (PD). Studies in PD patients show evidence of augmented levels of potent pro-inflammatory molecules e.g., TNF-α, iNOS, IL-1β whereas in experimental Parkinsonism it has been consistently demonstrated that dopaminergic neurons are particularly vulnerable to activated glia releasing these toxic factors. Recent genetic studies point to the role of immune system in the etiology of PD, thus in combination with environmental factors, both peripheral and CNS-mediated immune responses could play important roles in onset and progression of PD. Whereas microglia, astrocytes and infiltrating T cells are known to mediate chronic inflammation, the roles of other immune-competent cells are less well understood. Inflammation is a tightly controlled process. One major effector system of regulation is HPA axis. Glucocorticoids (GCs) released from adrenal glands upon stimulation of HPA axis, in response to either cell injury or presence of pathogen, activate their receptor, GR. GR regulates inflammation both through direct transcriptional action on target genes and by indirectly inhibiting transcriptional activities of transcriptional factors such as NF-κB, AP-1 or interferon regulatory factors. In PD patients, the HPA axis is unbalanced and the cortisol levels are significantly increased, implying a deregulation of GR function in immune cells. In experimental Parkinsonism, the activation of microglial GR has a crucial effect in diminishing microglial cell activation and reducing dopaminergic degeneration. Moreover, GCs are also known to regulate human brain vasculature as well as blood brain barrier (BBB) permeability, any dysfunction in their actions may influence infiltration of cytotoxic molecules resulting in increased vulnerability of dopamine neurons in PD. Overall, deregulation of glucocorticoid receptor actions is likely important in dopamine neuron degeneration through establishment of chronic inflammation.Frontiers in Neuroanatomy 04/2015; 9:32. DOI:10.3389/fnana.2015.00032 · 4.18 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the most common neurodegenerative movement disorder. Its characteristic neuropathological features encompass the loss of dopaminergic neurons of the nigrostriatal system and the presence of Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites. These are intraneuronal and intraneuritic proteinaceous insoluble aggregates whose main constituent is the synaptic protein α-synuclein. Compelling lines of evidence indicate that mitochondrial dysfunction and α-synuclein synaptic deposition may play a primary role in the onset of this disorder. However, it is not yet clear which of these events may come first in the sequel of processes leading to neurodegeneration. Here, we reviewed data supporting either that α-synuclein synaptic deposition precedes and indirectly triggers mitochondrial damage or that mitochondrial deficits lead to neuronal dysfunction and α-synuclein synaptic accumulation. The present overview shows that it is still difficult to establish the exact temporal sequence and contribution of these events to PD.Parkinson's Disease 01/2015; 2015:1-10. DOI:10.1155/2015/108029 · 2.10 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: It is generally considered that Parkinson's disease is induced by specific agents that degenerate a clearly defined population of dopaminergic neurons. Data commented in this review suggest that this assumption is not as clear as is often thought and that aging may be critical for Parkinson's disease. Neurons degenerating in Parkinson's disease also degenerate in normal aging, and the different agents involved in the etiology of this illness are also involved in aging. Senescence is a wider phenomenon affecting cells all over the body, whereas Parkinson's disease seems to be restricted to certain brain centers and cell populations. However, reviewed data suggest that Parkinson's disease may be a local expression of aging on cell populations which, by their characteristics (high number of synaptic terminals and mitochondria, unmyelinated axons, etc.), are highly vulnerable to the agents promoting aging. The development of new knowledge about Parkinson's disease could be accelerated if the research on aging and Parkinson's disease were planned together, and the perspective provided by gerontology gains relevance in this field. © 2015 The Authors. Aging Cell published by the Anatomical Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.Aging cell 02/2015; 14(3). DOI:10.1111/acel.12312 · 5.94 Impact Factor