Regulation of the Neurodegenerative Process Associated to Parkinson’s Disease by CD4+ T-cells

Hugo González, Francisco Contreras, Rodrigo Pacheco

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Neuroinflammation constitutes a fundamental process involved in the physiopathology of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Microglial cells play a central role in the outcome of neuroinflammation and consequent neurodegeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. Current evidence indicates that CD4+ T-cells infiltrate the central nervous system (CNS) in PD, where they play a critical role determining the functional phenotype of microglia, thus regulating the progression of the neurodegenerative process. Here, we first analysed the pathogenic role of inflammatory phenotypes and the beneficial role of anti-inflammatory phenotypes of encephalitogenic CD4+ T-cells involved in the physiopathology of PD. Next, we discussed how alterations of neurotransmitter levels observed in the basal ganglia throughout the time course of PD progression could be strongly affecting the behaviour of encephalitogenic CD4+ T-cells and thereby the outcome of the neuroinflammatory process and the consequent neurodegeneration of dopaminergic neurons. Afterward, we integrated the evidence indicating the involvement of an antigen-specific immune response mediated by T-cells and B-cells against CNS-derived self-constituents in PD. Consistent with the involvement of a relevant autoimmune component in PD, we also reviewed the polymorphisms of both, class I and class II major histocompatibility complexes, associated to the risk of PD. Overall, this study gives an overview of how an autoimmune component involved in PD plays a fundamental role in the progression of the neurodegenerative process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)561-575
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of NeuroImmune Pharmacology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015


  • Autoimmunity
  • CD4+ T-cells
  • Neuroinflammation
  • Neurotransmitters
  • Parkinson’s disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology


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