PARK7/DJ-1 in microglia: implications in Parkinson's disease and relevance as a therapeutic target

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Microglia are the immune effector cells of the brain playing critical roles in immune surveillance and neuroprotection in healthy conditions, while they can sustain neuroinflammatory and neurotoxic processes in neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease (PD). Although the precise triggers of PD remain obscure, causative genetic mutations, which aid in the identification of molecular pathways underlying the pathogenesis of idiopathic forms, represent 10% of the patients. Among the inherited forms, loss of function of PARK7, which encodes the protein DJ-1, results in autosomal recessive early-onset PD. Yet, although protection against oxidative stress is the most prominent task ascribed to DJ-1, the underlying mechanisms linking DJ-1 deficiency to the onset of PD are a current matter of investigation. This review provides an overview of the role of DJ-1 in neuroinflammation, with a special focus on its functions in microglia genetic programs and immunological traits. Furthermore, it discusses the relevance of targeting dysregulated pathways in microglia under DJ-1 deficiency and their importance as therapeutic targets in PD. Lastly, it addresses the prospect to consider DJ-1, detected in its oxidized form in idiopathic PD, as a biomarker and to take into account DJ-1-enhancing compounds as therapeutics dampening oxidative stress and neuroinflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number95
JournalJournal of Neuroinflammation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Apr 2023


  • Microglia
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Neuroinflammation
  • NFκB
  • NLRP3/inflammasome
  • NRF2
  • Oxidative stress
  • PARK7/DJ-1
  • Parkinson’s disease


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