May 21, 2024

Newly Discovered Receptor Offers Protection against Parkinson’s Disease, Especially in Females

Parkinson’s disease is more commonly diagnosed in men than in women, and researchers have long been puzzled by this disparity. However, a group of researchers from Aarhus University, led by Professor Marina Romero-Ramos, may have uncovered a clue to help solve this puzzle.

In a recent publication in npj Parkinson’s Disease, the researchers focused on a specific receptor called CD163. This receptor is primarily expressed in blood-immune phagocytic cells and is involved in the immune response during the neurodegenerative process associated with the aggregation of a-synuclein, a protein implicated in Parkinson’s disease. The team discovered that CD163 plays a crucial role in the body’s defense against the damages associated with the disease.

“The findings from our study suggest that CD163 is involved in the mechanism that controls the entrance of lymphocytes into the brain during neurodegeneration,” explains Romero-Ramos.

These findings shed new light on the sex difference observed in Parkinson’s disease and hint at the possibility that the body’s protection system may hold some of the answers.

Romero-Ramos explains, “We believe that the sex differences observed in the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, which is higher in males, as well as the disparities in the disease presentation between sexes, might be due to differences in the immune response.”

The study provides evidence that the increased expression of CD163 in patients with Parkinson’s disease may be a compensatory mechanism aimed at the protection of neurons, especially in females. Romero-Ramos hopes that this study will encourage further research into the immune system and its involvement in sex differences related to the disease.

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects movement control. It is characterized by the loss of dopamine-producing cells in the brain, leading to symptoms such as tremors, stiffness, and difficulty with balance and coordination. Currently, there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, and available treatments only aim to alleviate symptoms.

While the exact cause of Parkinson’s disease is still unknown, it is believed to result from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. The role of sex differences in the disease has been of interest to researchers for some time, as it could potentially provide insight into novel treatment approaches.

The discovery of the protective role of CD163, particularly in females, adds a new dimension to the understanding of Parkinson’s disease. It suggests that the immune response, and specifically CD163, may play a critical role in protecting neurons and slowing down the progression of the disease.

Further research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms by which CD163 offers neuroprotection and how it may be harnessed for therapeutic interventions. However, this study represents an important step towards unraveling the mysteries of Parkinson’s disease and opens up new avenues for exploration. By focusing on the immune system and considering sex differences, researchers may be able to develop more targeted treatments that could improve outcomes for individuals with Parkinson’s disease, regardless of their gender.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
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