Immunotherapy Against α-Synuclein Pathology
Immunotherapy is one of the most promising disease-modifying alternatives for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD), a neurodegenerative disorder that affects approximately 1.5 million people in the USA and 1 % of people over 60 years old. Both vaccination and passive immunization approaches with antibodies targeting alpha-synuclein (α-syn) have been extensively explored, especially since the discovery that this protein may propagate from cell to cell and be accessible to antibodies when embedded into the plasma membrane or in the extracellular space. Moreover, developing immunotherapies that discriminate abnormal conformations of α-syn using either monoclonal antibodies or single-chain variable fragments is a top priority in this field. Finally, research on intracellular antibodies (intrabodies) has shown promise for their use as novel therapeutic tools. In this chapter we provide an overview on the most relevant immunotherapeutic advances targeting α-syn in PD and related disorders, including the current Phase I clinical trials exploring this type of approach for PD patients.
Key wordsImmunotherapy Vaccines Antibodies Intrabodies Alpha-synuclein Parkinson’s disease
Supported by National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants AG18440, AG022074, and NS044233.
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