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:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of moderation, ... the latter, setting the bar too high can result in disappointment, perhaps even self-loathing. ... toward their goal. , Research from PsychTests.com reveals that behind the ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. ... and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. ... rocks at my other children and say he was going to kill them. If ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® of ... Cancer Society and the Road To Recovery® program to drive cancer patients to and ... other adults to ensure the highest quality of life and ongoing independence. Getting ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... is proud to recognize Dr. Barry M. Weintraub as a prominent plastic surgeon ... beautiful women in the world, and the most handsome men, look naturally attractive. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... Venture Construction Group (VCG) sponsors Luke’s Wings ... the Woodmont Country Club at 1201 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland, 20852. The event ... that have been wounded in battle and their families. Venture Construction Group is a ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Bracket , a leading ... next generation clinical outcomes platform, Bracket eCOA (SM) 6.0, ... June 26 – 30, 2016 in Philadelphia ... Clinical Outcome Assessment product of its kind to fully integrate ... Bracket eCOA 6.0 is a flexible platform for electronic ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Revolutionary technology includes multi-speaker listening to conquer ... in advanced audiology and hearing aid technology, has today ... world,s first internet connected hearing aid that opens up ...      (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160622/382240 ) , ... , TwinLink™ - the first dual communication ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... FRANKLIN, Tenn. , June 23, 2016 ... for automating, integrating and transforming the patient ... launch of several innovative new products and ... depth of its revenue cycle offerings. These ... establish more efficient workflows, remain compliant in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: