Author Profile

Maria Björkqvist

Affiliation: Department of Experimental Medical Science, Wallenberg Neuroscience Center, Lund University, Lund, Sweden

Recent Posts

Abnormal peripheral chemokine profile in Huntington’s disease

Huntington’s disease (HD) is an inherited neurodegenerative disorder characterized by both neurological and systemic abnormalities. Immune activation is a well-established feature of the HD brain and we have previously demonstrated a widespread, progressive innate immune response detectable in plasma throughout the course of HD. In the present work we used multiplex ELISA to quantify levels of chemokines in plasma from controls and subjects at different stages of HD. We found an altered chemokine profile tracking with disease progression, with significant elevations of five chemokines (eotaxin-3, MIP-1β, eotaxin, MCP-1 and MCP-4) while three (eotaxin-3, MIP-1β and eotaxin) showed significant linear increases across advancing disease stages. We validated our results in a separate sample cohort including subjects at different stages of HD. Here we saw that chemokine levels (MCP-1 and eotaxin) correlated with clinical scores. We conclude that, like cytokines, chemokines may be linked to the pathogenesis of HD, and that immune molecules may be valuable in tracking and exploring the pathogenesis of HD.

Serum levels of a subset of cytokines show high interindividual variability and are not altered in rats transgenic for Huntington´s disease

To evaluate whether cytokines are altered in peripheral blood of rats transgenic for the human Huntington´s disease mutation we investigated serum levels of GRO/KC, IL-1β, IL-13 and TNF-α at a symptomatic stage at 12 months of age. Overall serum levels of these cytokines were not significantly changed between transgenic HD rats and controls. Moreover, we observed a high interindividual variability. Our results indicate that these cytokines will be difficult to pursue as biomarkers in at least this rat model of HD.