Elevated Expression of Adaptive Immune Proteins in the Cerebellum and Pons of Patients with Multiple System Atrophy

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Charles F. Ide

Second Advisor

Dr. John Jellies

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Eversole


MSA, atrophy, neurodegeneration, immune, neuroinflammation

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Abstract Only


Multiple System atrophy (MSA) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease presenting as Parkinson’s‐like with Ataxia and autonomic failure (Gilman et al., 2008). Disease progression is thought to be at least in part a result of aggregated misfolded alpha synuclein protein associated with myelin degradation and oligodendrocyte cell death (Wenning, Stefanova, Jellinger, Poewe, & Schlossmacher, 2008). My hypothesis is that immune proteins, including cytotoxic T‐cell marker CD8alpha, cytokine IL‐12, and antigen presenting molecule CLEC4F are involved in disease progression in an adaptive immune response similar to Multple Sclerosis (MS).

In this study, I found elevated adaptive immune proteins in fiber tracts of MSA pons and cerebellar tissues, when compared to control tissues. Compared to control patients, CD8alpha protein is significantly upregulated in the cerebellar and pontocerebellar tracts of MSA patients.

Elevated expression of CD8α and IL‐12 may be a commonality between MS and MSA.


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