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Unaltered T cell responses to common antigens in individuals with Parkinson’s disease

Williams, G.P. et al. (BioRxiv) doi: 10.1101/2022.04.05.487195


  • T cells

  • Parkinson Disease

  • Immune activation


Main Findings

This papers aims to understand the specificity of immune response in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) to some common viral and bacterial antigens. The authors asked the question whether an increased T cell activation in PD patients is antigen-specific or indicate the generalized hyperresponsiveness. They showed that T cells derived from PD patients and healthy donors exhibit same level of cytokine production in response to common viruses and toxins.


  • It would have been important to measure T cell responses against the auto-antigen -synuclein, which has been previously shown to be increased in PD patients. 

  • The manuscript would benefit from the presentation of raw flow data, as well as the analyses of sex differences in the cohort. 

  • Of note, 85% of patient cohort are Caucasian.



This papers indirectly confirms the specificity of hyperresponsiveness of immune cells in PD patients to -synuclein. These results promote exploration of other relevant antigens that may be targeted by PD T cells and explain further inflammation in PD patients.


Reviewed by Oksana Goroshchuk as part of the cross-institutional journal club of the Immunology Institute of the Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai, the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology and the Oxford Centre for Immuno-Oncology  (OXCIO) (University of Oxford, GB) and Karolinska Institute’s Center for Infectious Medicine (CIM) & Center for Molecular Medicine (CMM).

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