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Neuroscience. 2012 Apr 19;208:41-8. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2012.02.001. Epub 2012 Feb 7.

Parkinson's disease-linked leucine-rich repeat kinase 2(R1441G) mutation increases proinflammatory cytokine release from activated primary microglial cells and resultant neurotoxicity.

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Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co KG, CNS Research, Birkendorfer Strasse 65, 88397 Biberach, Germany.


Mutations in leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) have been causally linked to neuronal cell death in Parkinson's disease. LRRK2 expression has also been detected in B lymphocytes and macrophages, suggesting a role in immune responses. In the present study, we demonstrate that LRRK2 is expressed in primary microglial cells isolated from brains of adult mice. Moreover, lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated microglial cells from mice overexpressing the Parkinson's disease-linked LRRK2(R1441G) mutation exhibit increased expression and secretion of proinflammatory cytokines compared with wild-type control microglia. Expression of the LPS receptor Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) and downstream signaling proteins did not differ between LRRK2(R1441G) transgenic microglia and wild-type controls. Consistently, conditioned medium from LPS-stimulated LRRK2(R1441G) transgenic microglia induced significant cell death when added to neuronal cultures. These findings indicate that enhanced neuroinflammation may contribute to neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease patients carrying LRRK2 mutations.

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