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Exp Neurol. 2006 Feb;197(2):275-83. Epub 2005 Dec 5.

Role of ICAM-1 in persisting inflammation in Parkinson disease and MPTP monkeys.

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Kinsmen Laboratory of Neurological Research, University of British Columbia, 2255 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T1Z3.


It has been established that neuroinflammation is present in the substantia nigra (SN) of Parkinson disease (PD) cases but the factors responsible are as yet unknown. One contributing protein may be the intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1, CD54). ICAM-1 with its counter receptor, the lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1 (LFA-1) is known to play a key role in inflammatory processes and in T-cell mediated host defense mechanisms. We detected large numbers of ICAM-1-positive reactive astrocytes in the SN of a series of 14 patients with neuropathologically confirmed PD, including 3 of familial origin, compared with 11 age-matched controls. In PD SN, these ICAM-1-positive reactive astrocytes were particularly concentrated around many residual neurons in areas of heavy neuronal loss and extracellular melanin accumulation. LFA-1-positive reactive microglia gathered in areas of intense ICAM-1 expression, and LFA-1-positive leukocytes were identified infiltrating the tissue. Double immunostaining for ICAM-1 and LFA-1 revealed aggregates of reactive microglia embedded in areas of diffuse ICAM-1. Leukocyte counts were 5 fold higher in PD SN compared to controls (P < 0.001). Similar over-expression of ICAM-1 was found in monkeys that had been exposed to MPTP from 5.5 to 14 years previously compared with control monkeys. The presence of ICAM-1-positive reactive astrocytes in Parkinson disease and MPTP-treated monkeys is indicative of a sustained inflammatory process and suggests that antiinflammatory agents may have a place in PD therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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