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Re-circulating Phagocytes Loaded with CNS Debris: A Potential Marker of Neurodegeneration in Parkinsons Disease?

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Special Issues: Biofluid Biomarkers for Parkinson’s Disease

Diagnosis and monitoring of diseases by measurement of biochemical markers has most commonly been performed on samples of peripheral blood. However, no such markers are available for clinical use in the major diseases of the central nervous system (CNS). In Parkinson's disease circulating biomarkers would find clinical utility in early diagnosis and also monitoring of disease progression. Of particular interest is early diagnosis as this would create .a window of opportunity for treatment with neuroprotective drugs. We have developed a novel strategy for monitoring disease activity in the CNS based on the recognition that tissue injuries incite inflammation and recruitment of phagocytes that engulf debris. We postulated that some of these debris laden phagocytes may return to the peripheral blood and their cargo of CNS proteins could be measured. If CNS antigens can be measured in PBMCs it may be an indicator of active neurodegeneration as the debris engulfed by phagocytes is completely degraded within days. To make this approach more specific to Parkinson's disease we probed PBMC lysates for neuromelanin as a marker of degeneration within the substancia nigra. We performed a proof of principle study in ten subjects with early PD and ten age and sex matched controls. The biomarkers neuromelanin, Tau protein, UCH-L1 and HPCAL-1 were measured in PBMC lysates from these two groups. Neuromelanin and Tau protein mean levels were elevated in PD compared with controls and was extremely statistically significant in both cases. UCH-L1 and HPCAL-1 mean levels were elevated in PD over controls and were not quite significant in both cases. These results suggest that this is a promising new approach for diagnosis and monitoring of PD and potentially other CNS diseases.
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Copyright Info: © 2015, Ramesh C. Nayak, et al., licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

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