From the article:
Evidence has been piling up that inflammation is an important mechanism driving the progression of Parkinson’s disease. XPro1595 targets tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a critical inflammatory signaling molecule, and is specific to the soluble form of TNF. This specificity would avoid compromising immunity to infections, a known side effect of existing anti-TNF drugs used to treat disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Postdoctoral fellow Christopher Barnum, PhD and colleagues used a model of Parkinson’s disease in rats in which the neurotoxin 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) is injected into only one side of the brain. This reproduces some aspects of Parkinson’s disease: neurons that produce dopamine in the injected side of the brain die, leading to impaired movement on the opposite side of the body.
When XPro1595 is given to the animals 3 days after 6-OHDA injection, just 15 percent of the dopamine-producing neurons were lost five weeks later. That compares to controls in which 55 percent of the same neurons were lost. By reducing dopamine neuron loss with XPro1595, the researchers were also able to reduce motor impairment. In fact, the degree of dopamine cell loss was highly correlated both with the degree of motor impairment and immune cell activation.
When XPro1595 is given two weeks after injection, 44 percent of the vulnerable neurons are still lost, suggesting that there is a limited window of opportunity to intervene.