Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a debilitating neurodegenerative disease. The diagnosis of PD is established by clinical motoric symptoms and to date no biomarker is available. Several factors have been proposed to underlie the pathogenesis of PD, including oxidative stress. Despite accumulating evidence that cellular stress, in inflammation and cancer for example, promotes release of functional extracellular vesicles (EVs) reflective of the disease state, this phenomenon has been understudied in PD, a disease characterized by oxidative stress.
We are using cell models of PD and clinical samples (nasal lavage and blood) from recently diagnosed PD patients to uncover the potential role of EVs in PD. We are investigating whether oxidative stress alters the composition of EVs in PD to provide a specific and sensitive biosignature reflecting early pathological processes. Given EVs are capable of evoking physiological and pathological responses in recipient cells we are determining if the intercellular transfer of oxidative-stress-modified EVs actively contributes to the progression of PD.
This study will provide knowledge on the role of EVs in the pathogenesis of PD, particularly related to cell-to-cell transmission of oxidative stress. Furthermore, this study will provide insight into the composition of EVs in early stage PD with the goal of developing an EV based biomarker for prodromal PD.