2 Scopus citations


Emerging evidence implicates intestinal involvement in the onset and/or progression on the selective degeneration of dopaminergic neurons characterizing Parkinson's disease (PD). On the one hand, there are studies supporting the Braak hypothesis that holds that pathologic α-synuclein, a hallmark of PD, is secreted by enteric nerves into intestinal tissue and finds its way to the central nervous system (CNS) via retrograde movement in the vagus nerve. On the other hand, there is data showing that cells bearing leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2), a signaling molecule with genetic variants associated with both PD and with inflammatory bowel disease, can be activated in intestinal tissue and contribute locally to intestinal inflammation, or peripherally to PD pathogenesis via cell trafficking to the CNS. Importantly, these gut-centered factors affecting PD development are not necessarily independent of one another: they may interact and enhance their respective pathologic functions. In this review, we discuss this possibility by analysis of studies conducted in recent years focusing on the ability of LRRK2 to shape immunologic responses and the role of α-synuclein in influencing this ability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-296
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Parkinson's Disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2023


  • Gut-brain axis
  • LRRK2
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • enteric nervous system
  • intestinal inflammation
  • α-synuclein


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