Type-1 interferons (IFNs) are pleiotropic cytokines with a critical role in the initiation and regulation of the pro-inflammatory response. However, the contribution of the type-1 IFNs to CNS disorders, specifically chronic neuropathologies such as Parkinson's disease is still unknown. Here, we report increased type-1 IFN signaling in both post mortem human Parkinson's disease samples and in the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1, 2, 3, 6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) mouse model. In response to MPTP, mice lacking the type-1 IFN receptor (IFNAR1−/−) displayed decreased type-1 IFN signaling, an attenuated pro-inflammatory response and reduced loss of dopaminergic neurons. The neuroprotective potential of targeting the type-1 IFN pathway was confirmed by reduced neuroinflammation and DA cell death in mice treated with a blocking monoclonal IFNAR1 (MAR-1) antibody. The MPTP/MAR-1 treated mice also displayed increased striatal dopamine levels and improved behavioural outcomes compared to their MPTP/IgG controls. These data, implicate for the first time, a deleterious role for the type-1 IFNs as key modulators of the early neuroinflammatory response and therefore the neuronal cell death in Parkinson's disease.
- Parkinson's disease