Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 275178, 9 pages
Review Article

Immune Responses in Parkinson’s Disease: Interplay between Central and Peripheral Immune Systems

1Department of Neuroscience, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC 20057, USA
2Department of Neurology, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC 20057, USA

Received 13 February 2014; Accepted 16 March 2014; Published 13 April 2014

Academic Editor: Cheng-Hsien Lu

Copyright © 2014 Xiaomin Su and Howard J. Federoff. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The etiology of Parkinson’s disease (PD) is complex and most likely involves numerous environmental and heritable risk factors. Recent studies establish that central and peripheral inflammation occurs in the prodromal stage of the disease and sustains disease progression. Aging, heritable risk factors, or environmental exposures may contribute to the initiation of central or peripheral inflammation. One emerging hypothesis is that inflammation plays a critical role in PD neuropathology. Increasing evidence suggest that activation of the peripheral immune system exacerbates the discordant central inflammatory response and synergistically drives neurodegeneration. We provide an overview of current knowledge on the temporal profile of central and peripheral immune responses in PD and discuss the potential synergistic effects of the central and peripheral inflammation in disease development. The understanding of the nature of the chronic inflammation in disease progression and the possible risk factors that contribute to altered central and peripheral immune responses will offer mechanistic insights into PD etiology and pathology and benefit the development of effective tailored therapeutics for human PD.