Neuroinflammation is a pathological hallmark in Parkinson's disease (PD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and is characterized by activated microglia and infiltrating T cells at sites of neuronal injury. In PD and ALS, neurons do not die alone; neuronal injury is non-cell-autonomous and depends on a well-orchestrated dialogue in which neuronally secreted misfolded proteins activate microglia and initiate a self-propagating cycle of neurotoxicity. Diverse populations and phenotypes of CD4+ T cells crosstalk with microglia, and depending on their activation status, influence this dialogue and promote neuroprotection or neurotoxicity. A greater understanding of the T cell population that mediates these effects, as well as the molecular signals involved should provide targets for neuroprotective immunomodulation to treat these devastating neurodegenerative diseases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy