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Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2011 Dec;17(10):765-8. doi: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2011.06.026. Epub 2011 Aug 12.

Alterations in glutathione S-transferase pi expression following exposure to MPP+ -induced oxidative stress in the blood of Parkinson's disease patients.

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Department of Developmental Neurobiology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105, USA.


The major motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease do not occur until a majority of the dopaminergic neurons in the midbrain SNpc have already died. For this reason, it is critical to identify biomarkers that will allow for the identification of presymptomatic individuals. In this study, we examine the baseline expression of the anti-oxidant protein glutathione S-transferase pi (GSTpi) in the blood of PD patients and environmentally- and age-matched controls and compare it to GSTpi levels following exposure to 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP(+)), an agent that has been shown to induce oxidative stress. We find that after 4 h of exposure to MPP(+), significant increases in GSTpi levels can be observed in the leukocytes of PD patients. No changes were seen in other blood components. This suggests that GSTpi and potentially other members of this and other anti-oxidant families may be viable biomarkers for PD.

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