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J Neuroimmunol. 2001 Feb 1;113(1):146-52.

Lymphocyte populations in Parkinson's disease and in rat models of parkinsonism.

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Immunology Service, Hospital Duran i Reynals, CSU de Bellvitge, Autovia de Castelldefels Km 2.7, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, 08907 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.


To assess the involvement of the immune system in Parkinson's disease we studied the phenotype of circulating lymphocytes in 30 untreated and 34 treated patients. We found a numeric decrease in helper T cells (higher in CD4(+)CD45RA(+) than in CD4(+)CD29(+)) and B cells, and a rise in activated, CD4(+)CD25(+) lymphocytes that was correlated with lymphocyte depletion. All these alterations were independent of levodopa treatment. In addition, we performed striatal dopamine depletion in rats with either MPP(+) or 6-OHDA, showing that MPP(+) but not 6-OHDA can increase CD4(+)CD25(+) lymphocytes. Thus, mechanisms other than dopamine deficit may explain the immune activation in Parkinson's disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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