Parkinson's disease and pesticides: Are microRNAs the missing link?

Athina Maria Aloizou, Vasileios Siokas, Efstathia Maria Sapouni, Nikoleta Sita, Ioannis Liampas, Alexandros G. Brotis, Valerii N. Rakitskii, Tatyana I. Burykina, Michael Aschner, Dimitrios P. Bogdanos, Aristidis Tsatsakis, Georgios M. Hadjigeorgiou, Efthimios Dardiotis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disorder that leads to significant morbidity and decline in the quality of life. It develops due to loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta, and among its pathogenic factors oxidative stress plays a critical role in disease progression. Pesticides are a broad class of chemicals widely used in agriculture and households for the protection of crops from insects and fungi. Several of them have been incriminated as risk factors for PD, but the underlying mechanisms have yet to be fully understood. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, non-coding RNA molecules that play an important role in regulating mRNA translation and protein synthesis. miRNA levels have been shown to be affected in several diseases as well. Since the studies on the association between pesticides and PD have yet to reach definitive conclusions, here we review recent evidence on deregulated microRNAs upon pesticide exposure, and attempt to find an overlap between miRNAs deregulated in PD and pesticides, as a missing link between the two, and enhance future research in this direction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number140591
JournalScience of the Total Environment
StatePublished - Nov 20 2020


  • MicroRNAs
  • Neurotoxicity
  • PD
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Pesticides
  • miRNAs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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