Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder mainly characterized by the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. Degenerating neurons contain abnormal aggregates called Lewy bodies, that are predominantly composed of the misfolded and/or mutated alpha-synuclein protein. Post-translational modifications, cellular stress, inflammation and gene mutations are thought to trigger its pathological misfolding and aggregation. With alpha-synuclein pathology being strongly associated with dopaminergic neuronal toxicity, strategies aimed to reduce its burden are expected to be beneficial in slowing disease progression. Moreover, multiple sources of evidence suggest a cell-to-cell transmission of pathological alpha-synuclein in a prion-like manner. Therefore, antibodies targeting extra- or intracellular alpha-synuclein could be efficient in limiting the aggregation and transmission. Several active and passive immunization strategies have been explored to target alpha-synuclein. Here, we summarize immunotherapeutic approaches that were tested in pre-clinical or clinical studies in the last two decades in an attempt to treat Parkinson's disease.
Keywords: Parkinson’s disease; alpha-synuclein; antibodies; immunotherapy; intrabodies.; nanobodies; prion-like.