CD3ζ is a subunit of the CD3 molecule that, until recently, appeared restricted to T cells and natural killer cells. However, experimental studies have demonstrated a role of CD3ζ in dendritic outgrowth in the visual system as well as in synaptic plasticity. Given the increasing evidence for uncharacteristic recapitulation of neurodevelopmental processes in neurodegenerative diseases, in this study, we evaluated brains from subjects with Parkinson's disease and Lewy body dementia for evidence of aberrant CD3 expression. Our data shows marked CD3ζ in association with the α-synuclein containing pathological lesions, i.e., Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites, in the brains of subjects with Parkinson's disease and Lewy body dementia. This finding raises the novel concept of CD3 dysregulation in these disorders as a pathogenic factor and also furthers the increasing evidence that the recall of aberrant neurodevelopmental processes underlies the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.