Do iron-oxide nanoparticles contribute to Parkinsons Disease pathology?
  Anthropogenic iron-oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) detected in ultrafine particulate matter caused by traffic and industrial emissions have increased substantially over time, constituting one of the most serious threats to human health. However, IONPs have also gained popularity in medical imaging and targeted drug delivery in disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease (PD), due to their small size and ability to cross the blood brain barrier (BBB) after exposure via various routes (ingestion, inhalation or skin absorption).
Alarmingly, in highly polluted areas, exposure to IONPs has been linked to brain a-synuclein accumulation (a key pathogenic protein in PD), inflammation and oxidative stress. Therefore, properties that make IONPs medically popular may also contribute to their neurotoxicity. Given the established involvement of iron in α-synuclein-related degeneration and the reported in vivo and in vitro actions of IONPs, their impact on human health remains gravely understudied.
Here, it is hypothesised that IONPs cause neuronal damage and exacerbate a-synuclein toxicity. This will be addressed by studying actions of IONPs via mechanistic in vitro studies in the first instance.

  • Start Date:

    1 October 2021

  • End Date:

    21 November 2022

  • Activity Type:

    Externally Funded Research

  • Funder:

    RS Macdonald Charitable Trust, Chief Scientists Office

  • Value:


Project Team