Plasma VCAM1 levels correlate with disease severity in Parkinson's disease

Caroline Perner*, Florian Perner, Nayana Gaur, Silke Zimmermann, Otto W. Witte, Florian H. Heidel, Julian Grosskreutz, Tino Prell

*Corresponding author for this work
13 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by motor and non-motor symptoms. There is increasing evidence that PD pathology is accompanied by an inflammatory response. This is highly relevant for understanding disease progression and the development of novel neuroprotective therapies. Objective: Assessing potential dysregulation of a panel of inflammatory mediators in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and plasma of PD patients and in the context of clinical outcome metrics. Methods: We performed a screening of selected cell-surface chemokine receptors and adhesion molecules in PBMCs from PD patients and age-matched healthy controls in a flow cytometry-based assay. ELISA was used to quantify VCAM1 levels in the plasma of PD patients. Lymphocytic chemotactic ability was assessed using a modified Boyden chamber assay. Results: VLA4 expression was significantly downregulated on CD3+ T cells, CD56+ NK cells, and CD3+/CD56+ NK-T cells from PD patients; further, an increase of the soluble VLA4 ligand VCAM1 in patient plasma was noted. sVCAM1 in PD patients was even higher than reported for patients with multiple sclerosis, neuromyelitis optica, and rheumatoid arthritis. sVCAM1 levels correlated with the disease stage (Hoehn and Yahr scale) and motor impairment. Chemoattraction with SDF-1α revealed impaired motility of lymphocytes from PD patients relative to controls. Conclusion: Our data provides evidence for a functional dysregulation of the sVCAM1-VLA4 axis in PD. Further studies evaluating the therapeutic potential of this axis are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number94
JournalJournal of Neuroinflammation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 08.05.2019
Externally publishedYes

Research Areas and Centers

  • Centers: Center for Neuromuscular Diseases


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