Caggiu, Elisa (2019) Parkinson's disease: Immune System, infections and Alpha-synuclein protein. Doctoral Thesis.
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder and its etiology is unknown, but environmental factors are implicated in the development of this disease. In this project we want to analyze different roles played by α-syn, HSV-1 and Immune System in PD. We have investigated autoimmunity in PD through ELISA and a specific immune-stimulation using homologous peptides of HSV-1 and α-syn in PD patients VS HCs. Moreover with in vitro study we have investigated the potential role of α-syn as a antimicrobial peptide and could therefore contribute to α-syn aggregation, neuroinflammation, and widespread dopaminergic neuron death. Lastly we have analyzed the potential of circulating miRNAs as noninvasive diagnostic candidate biomarkers of PD patients and neuroinflammation. The obtained results are in line with the hypothesis of a possible involvement of the immune system, in particular autoimmunity, in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease, and that HSV-1 infections may lead to a progression of the disease. Concerning α-syn as a potential antimicrobial peptides further studies are needed to clarify the complexity of the functions of this protein. Regarding identification of miRNA we have highlighted different levels of expression of some miRNA, 155 and 146a, between patients with PD and healthy controls.
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