The intestinal barrier, which primarily consists of epithelial cells stitched together with connecting proteins called tight junctions, plays a critical role in health and disease. It is in close contact with the gut microbiota on its luminal side and with the enteric neurons on the tissue side. Both microbiota and the enteric nervous system are regulatory housekeepers of the intestinal barrier. Therefore, the recently observed enteric neuropathology along with gut dysbiosis in Parkinson's disease have prompted research on intestinal permeability in this neurodegenerative disorder. In this mini-review we attempt to concisely summarize the current knowledge on intestinal barrier in Parkinson's disease. We envision future direction research that should be pursued in order to demonstrate its possible role in disease development and progression.
Keywords: Intestinal barrier; Parkinson’s disease; enteric nervous system; tight junctions.