Background: Parkinson’s disease is one of the most common neurodegenerative disorders and although its aetiology is not yet fully understood, neuroinflammation has been identified as a key factor in the progression of the disease. Vasoactive intestinal peptide and pituitary adenylate-cyclase activating polypeptide are two neuropeptides that exhibit anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties, modulating the production of cytokines and chemokines and the behaviour of immune cells. However, the role of chemokines and cytokines modulated by the endogenous receptors of the peptides varies according to the stage of the disease.
Methods: We present an overview of the relationship between some cytokines and chemokines with vasoactive intestinal peptide, pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide and their endogenous receptors in the context of Parkinson’s disease neuroinflammation and oxidative stress, as well as the modulation of microglial cells by the peptides in this context.
Results: The two peptides exhibit neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties in models of Parkinson’s disease, as they ameliorate cognitive functions, decrease the level of neuroinflammation and promote dopaminergic neuronal survival. The peptides have been tested in a variety of in vivo and in vitro models of Parkinson’s disease, demonstrating the potential for therapeutic application.
Conclusion: More studies are needed to establish the clinical use of vasoactive intestinal peptide and pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide as safe candidates for treating Parkinson’s disease, as the use of the peptides in different stages of the disease could produce different results concerning effectiveness.
Keywords: Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), pituitary adenylate-cyclase activating polypeptide (PACAP), Parkinson's disease, neuroinflammation, oxidative stress, neuropeptides, neurodegenerative disease.