Expression of Transcription Factors in CD4 + T Cells as Potential Biomarkers of Motor Complications in Parkinson’s Disease


Management of motor complications (MC) represents a major challenge in the long-term treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients. In this context, the role of peripheral adaptive immunity may provide new insights, since neuroinflammatory mechanisms have been proved crucial in the disease.


The aim of this study was to analyze the transcription factors genes involved in CD4 + T cells development to uncover specific molecular signatures in patients with (PMC) and without (WMC) motor complications.


mRNA levels of CD4 + T lymphocytes transcription factor genes TBX21, STAT1, STAT3, STAT4, STAT6, RORC, GATA3, FOXP3, and NR4A2 were measured from 40 PD patients, divided into two groups according to motor complications. Also, 40 age- and sex-matched healthy controls were enrolled.


WMC patients had higher levels of STAT1 and NR4A2 (p = 0.004; p = 0.003), whereas in PMC we found higher levels of STAT6 (p = 0.04). Also, a ROC curve analysis confirmed STAT1 and NR4A2 as feasible biomarkers to discriminate WMC (AUC= 0.76, 95% CI 0.59–0.92, p = 0.005; AUC= 0.75, 95% CI 0.58–0.90, p = 0.007). Similarly, STAT6 detected PMC patients (AUC= 0.69, 95% CI 0.52–0.86, p = 0.037).


These results provide evidence of different molecular signatures in CD 4 + T cells of PD patients with and without MC, thus suggesting their potential as biomarkers of MC development.


Contaldi E, Magistrelli L, Milner AV, Cosentino M, Marino F, Comi C - Expression of Transcription Factors in CD4 + T Cells as Potential Biomarkers of Motor Complications in Parkinson's Disease - J Parkinsons Dis. 2021;11(2):507-514.

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