Sex-dimorphic neuroprotective effect of CD163 in an α-synuclein mouse model of Parkinson’s disease

Sara A. Ferreira, Conghui Li, Ida H. Klæstrup, Zagorka Vitic, Rikke K. Rasmussen, Asger Kirkegaard, Gitte U. Toft, Cristine Betzer, Pia Svendsen, Poul H. Jensen, Yonglun Luo, Anders Etzerodt, Søren K. Moestrup, Marina Romero-Ramos*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Alpha-synuclein (α-syn) aggregation and immune activation represent hallmark pathological events in Parkinson’s disease (PD). The PD-associated immune response encompasses both brain and peripheral immune cells, although little is known about the immune proteins relevant for such a response. We propose that the upregulation of CD163 observed in blood monocytes and in the responsive microglia in PD patients is a protective mechanism in the disease. To investigate this, we used the PD model based on intrastriatal injections of murine α-syn pre-formed fibrils in CD163 knockout (KO) mice and wild-type littermates. CD163KO females revealed an impaired and differential early immune response to α-syn pathology as revealed by immunohistochemical and transcriptomic analysis. After 6 months, CD163KO females showed an exacerbated immune response and α-syn pathology, which ultimately led to dopaminergic neurodegeneration of greater magnitude. These findings support a sex-dimorphic neuroprotective role for CD163 during α-syn-induced neurodegeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number164
Journalnpj Parkinson's Disease
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 13. Dec 2023


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