Navigation Links
Study supports urate protection against Parkinson's disease, hints at novel mechanism
Date:5/23/2012

Use of the antioxidant urate to protect against the neurodegeneration caused by Parkinson's disease appears to rely on more than urate's ability to protect against oxidative damage. In the May issue of the open-access journal PLoS One, researchers from the MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases (MGH-MIND) describe experiments suggesting the involvement of a novel mechanism in urate's protection of cultured brain cells against Parkinson's-like damage.

"Our experiments showed, unexpectedly, that urate's ability to protect neurons requires the presence of neighboring cells called astrocytes," says Michael Schwarzschild, MD, PhD, of MGH-MIND, the study's senior author. "The results suggest there may be multiple ways that raising urate could help protect against neurodegeneration in diseases like Parkinson's and further support the development of treatments designed to elevate urate in the brain." Schwarzschild and colleagues in the Parkinson's Study Group currently are conducting a clinical trial investigating one approach to that strategy.

Characterized by tremors, rigidity, difficulty walking and other symptoms, Parkinson's disease is caused by destruction of brain cells that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine. Several epidemiological studies suggested that healthy people with elevated levels of urate, a normal component of the blood, may have a reduced risk of developing Parkinson's disease, and investigations by Schwarzschild's team found that Parkinson's patients with higher naturally occuring urate levels had slower progression of their symptoms.

The current study was designed to investigate whether both added urate and urate already present within the cells protect cultured dopamine-producing neurons against Parkinson-like degeneration. In addition, since previous studies suggested that urate's protective effects depended on the presence of astrocytes star-shaped cells of the central nervous system that provide both structural and metabolic support to neurons the MGH-MIND team explored how the presence of astrocytes affects the ability of urate to protect against damage induced by MPP+, a toxic molecule that produces the same kind of neurodegeneration seen in Parkinson's and is widely used in research studies.

The experiments showed that, while added urate reduced MPP+-induced cell death by about 50 percent in cultured dopamine-producing mouse neurons, urate treatment virtually eliminated neuronal death in cultures containing both neurons and astrocytes. They also showed that reducing intracellular urate levels by induced expression of the enzyme that breaks it down increased neuronal vulnerability to MPP+ toxicity significantly in cultures that included astrocytes but only slightly in neuron-rich cultures. The fact that the presence of astrocytes greatly increases the protection of both externally applied urate and urate produced within cells indicates that the effect depends on more than urate's ability to directly protect neurons against oxidative stress.

"A valuable next step will be determining whether endogenous urate is protective in live animal models of Parkinson's disease," says Schwarzschild. "It also will be important to determine whether we can selectively increase urate levels in brain cells by targeting urate transporter molecules. The approach now in early clinical trials examines whether treatment with the urate precursor inosine, which increases urate levels throughout the body, can slow the progression of the disease. If we could raise urate levels in brain cells without changing them in the rest of the body, we could avoid the risks of of excessive urate, which when accumulated in joints can cause gout."


'/>"/>
Contact: Mike Morrison
mdmorrison@partners.org
617-724-6425
Massachusetts General Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Despite Treatment, Employees with Depression Generate Higher Absentee Costs, According to Thomson Reuters Study
2. American Council on Exercise (ACE) Study Reveals Kettlebells Provide Powerful Workout in Short Amount of Time
3. TV drama can be more persuasive than news program, study finds
4. Study carried out into biological risks of eating reptiles
5. Neuroimaging study may pave way for effective Alzheimers treatments
6. Study finds racial gaps continue in heart disease awareness
7. Luth Researchs IndicatorEDG(TM) Study Finds Americans Hopes of Achieving Their Dreams Are Fading
8. First blinded study of venous insufficiency prevalence in MS shows promising results
9. Soothing infants with food focus of childhood obesity study
10. People with anxiety disorder less able to regulate response to negative emotions, study shows
11. American Heart Association Rapid Access Journal Report: Study Finds Racial Gaps Continue in Heart Disease Awareness, Low Knowledge of Heart Attack Warning Signs Among Women
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:8/21/2017)... , ... August 21, 2017 , ... ... events taking place all over the country. , Outdoor running increases exposure to ... are at an increased risk of melanoma, and only half may be adequately ...
(Date:8/21/2017)... ... ... The American Hospital Association (AHA) has elected Claire Zangerle, Chief Nurse Executive at ... Trustees for a three-year term beginning January 1, 2018. , The AHA ... committed to the improvement of health in their communities. Founded in 1898, the AHA ...
(Date:8/20/2017)... ... August 20, 2017 , ... A total solar eclipse will occur across the U.S. ... the moon moves between the sun and Earth. This rare event will be magnificent to ... help keep you safe on the road during the total eclipse of the sun. , ...
(Date:8/19/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... August 19, 2017 , ... ... Ed Begley, Jr., will feature the Aurum Group in an upcoming episode, slated ... This segment of Innovations will feature the Aurum Group; a company committed to ...
(Date:8/19/2017)... ... August 19, 2017 , ... The digital health and telemedicine ... pending recognition status from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) to ... live video conferencing. , The DPP resulted from clinical work conducted by ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:8/15/2017)... 2017 AccuGenomics, Inc., a diagnostic company based ... that the company has provided an AccuKit to the ... at Chapel Hill and to Qura Therapeutics for evaluation ... quantify HIV reservoir and viral expression in human CD4+ ... Cure Center is a joint initiative between the University ...
(Date:8/14/2017)... PETACH TIKVAH, Israel , Aug. 15, ... leading developer of adult stem cell technologies for neurodegenerative ... June 30, 2017. ... our pivotal Phase 3 trial to investigate NurOwn ® ... and Chief Executive Officer of BrainStorm. "We have agreements ...
(Date:8/10/2017)... Colo. , Aug. 10, 2017  Physical Rehabilitation Network ... located in Lakewood, Colorado . The reputable ... Jeff Lipkin , PT, DPT with his staff of four ... University of Pittsburgh and brings over 10 years of experience ... Belmar PT marks the 10th PRN clinic in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: