Cellular and Molecular Biology



Inflammation and infection in Parkinson’s disease

H. Arai, T. Furuya, Y. Mizuno and H. Mochizuki

Department of Neurology, Juntendo University School of Medicine, Bunkyo, Tokyo, Japan

Offprint requests to: Dr. Hideki Mochizuki, M.D., Department of Neurology, Juntendo University School of Medicine, 2-1-1 Hongo, Bunkyo, Tokyo 113-8421 Japan. e-mail: hideki@med.juntendo.ac.jp

Summary. The hallmark of Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a specific degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra (SN). The cause of nigral dopaminergic neuronal cell death in PD and its underlying mechanisms remain elusive, however, involvement of inflammatory events has been postulated because inflammatory features have been described in the brain of PD patients. Some evidence also suggest that a possible deleterious effects of neuroinflammatory processes by infection in experimental models of neurodegenerative disease. In this review, we summarize and discuss the latest findings regarding inflammation in PD. Especially, we focused on the relationship between infection and PD. Histol Histopathol 21, 673-678 (2006)

Key words: Parkinson’s disease, Inflammation, Infection, Substantia nigra, Dopaminergic neurons, LPS, Caspase-11, Interleukin-1ß

DOI: 10.14670/HH-21.673