Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is the outer membrane component of Gram-negative bacteria. LPS-binding protein (LBP) is an acute-phase reactant that mediates immune responses triggered by LPS and has been used as a blood marker for LPS. LBP has recently been indicated to be associated with Parkinson’s disease (PD) in small-scale retrospective case–control studies. We aimed to investigate the association between LBP blood levels with PD risk in a nested case–control study within a large European prospective cohort.
A total of 352 incident PD cases (55% males) were identified and one control per case was selected, matched by age at recruitment, sex and study center. LBP levels in plasma collected at recruitment, which was on average 7.8 years before diagnosis of the cases, were analyzed by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. Odds ratios (ORs) were estimated for one unit increase of the natural log of LBP levels and PD incidence by conditional logistic regression.
Plasma LBP levels were higher in prospective PD cases compared to controls (median (interquartile range) 26.9 (18.1–41.0) vs. 24.7 (16.6–38.4) µg/ml). The OR for PD incidence per one unit increase of log LBP was elevated (1.46, 95% CI 0.98–2.19). This association was more pronounced among women (OR 2.68, 95% CI 1.40–5.13) and overweight/obese subjects (OR 1.54, 95% CI 1.09–2.18).
The findings suggest that higher plasma LBP levels may be associated with an increased risk of PD and may thus pinpoint to a potential role of endotoxemia in the pathogenesis of PD, particularly in women and overweight/obese individuals.