Journal of Neural Transmission

, Volume 117, Issue 8, pp 971–979

Neuroinflammation is a key player in Parkinson’s disease and a prime target for therapy

Movement Disorders - Review Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00702-010-0428-1

Cite this article as:
Qian, L., Flood, P.M. & Hong, JS. J Neural Transm (2010) 117: 971. doi:10.1007/s00702-010-0428-1


Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative movement disorder characterized by the progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra and depletion of dopamine in the striatum, which lead to pathological and clinical abnormalities. Increasing evidence has demonstrated that inflammation is the fundamental process contributing to neuron death in PD. Neuroinflammation, which is characterized by activated microglia and infiltrating T cells at sites of neuronal injury, is a prominent contributor to the pathogenesis of progressive PD. Microglia play a critical role in forming a self-propelling cycle leading to sustained chronic neuroinflammation and driving the progressive neurodegeneration in PD. This activation depends heavily on the respiratory burst within the microglia, which in turn regulates a number of downstream pro-inflammatory activities. On the other hand, the adaptive immune responses, most notably T cells, are now emerging as important components of the inflammatory response that contribute to the pathogenesis of PD. This review paper focus on the understanding of the inflammatory etiology of PD, as well as the molecular signaling involved in this inflammatory response, with the aim to provide more effective treatments to slow down or halt the progression of chronic inflammation-induced CNS disorders, such as PD.


Inflammation Oxidative stress Neurodegeneration 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Comprehensive Center for Inflammatory DisordersUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Neuropharmacology Section, Laboratory of PharmacologyNational Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of HealthResearch Triangle ParkUSA

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