Navigation Links
UCLA Find Yields Further Insight into Causes of Parkinson’s Diseas

In humans, a dearth of the neurotransmitter dopamine has long been known to play a role in Parkinson's disease. It is also known that mutations in a protein called parkin// cause a form of Parkinson's that is inherited.

Now, UCLA scientists, reporting in the Jan. 31 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience, have put the two together. Using a new model of Parkinson's disease they developed in the simple Drosophila (fruit fly), the researchers show for the first time that a mutated form of the human parkin gene inserted into Drosophila specifically results in the death of dopaminergic cells, ultimately resulting in Parkinson's-like motor dysfunction in the fly. Thus, the interaction of mutant parkin with dopamine may be key to understanding the cause of familial Parkinson's disease — Parkinson's that runs in families.

Conventional wisdom has held that parkin is recessive, meaning that two copies of the mutated gene were required in order to see the clinical signs of Parkinson's disease. But the researchers, led by George Jackson, M.D., Ph.D., UCLA associate professor of neurology and senior scientist at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, wanted to see if they could get the protein to act in a dominant fashion, so they put only one copy of the mutation into their fly model. The result was the death of the neurons that use dopamine, the neurotransmitter long implicated in Parkinson's disease.

"We put the mutant parkin in all different kinds of tissues and in different kinds of neurons, and it was toxic only to the ones that used dopamine," Jackson said. "No one's shown this degree of specificity for dopaminergic neurons."

Having a genetic model of Parkinson's disease (PD) in the fruit fly will allow researchers to run mass testing, or "screens," of genes in order to find the novel pathways — networks of interacting proteins that carry out biological functions — that control survival of those dopaminergic neurons.

"Since a lot of those pathways regulating cell survival and death are conserved by evolution all the way from flies to humans," said Jackson, "if we find those genes in the fly, they may represent new therapeutic targets for PD in humans."

The researchers examined the results not only from a genetic standpoint but from a behavioral standpoint as well. To measure the progression of Parkinson's disease in the fly, they designed a small series of rotating glass cylinders that they christened a "fly rotarod." A healthy fly placed inside the hollow cylinder would simply cling to the wall during the slow 360-degree loop. But flies with Parkinson's disease would fall, depending on the progression of their disease. The researchers used infrared beams to measure when they fell.

The researchers also plan to use their fly model to test a library of some 5,000 drug compounds approved by the Food and Drug Administration to see which ones might stop disease progression. If they find one that works, such a compound, which could serve as a kind of skeleton for other therapeutic drugs, could then be tested in mouse models and eventually in humans.

While non-scientists may have trouble understanding how a simple fruit fly can have implications for humans, Jackson said that, thanks to the biological similarities between species, "the point of what we do is that if we find things, then ultimately, we can examine them in humans."

Besides Jackson, other UCLA investigators included Tzu-Kang Sang, Hui-Yun Chang, George M. Lawless, Anuradha Ratnaparkhi, Lisa Mee, Larry C. Ackerson, Nigel T. Maidment and study co-author David E. Krantz.

Source-Bio-Bio Technology
SI
'"/>




Related medicine news :

1. Operating on a Beating Heart Yields Better Results For Blocked Heart Arteries
2. Fight the Flab Competition Yields Great Results
3. Exercise Combined with Dialysis Yields Better Results
4. Kyphoplasty Yields Good Long-Term Improvement for Spinal Fractures
5. MRI Development Yields Breakthrough in Diagnosis of Liver Fibrosis
6. Cellular Pathway Yields Potential New Weapon in Vaccine Arsenal
7. Researchers Improve Soy Processing by Boosting Protein and Sugar Yields
8. Primitive Yeast Yields Secrets Of Human Cholesterol And Drug Metabolism
9. Tamoxifen Yields Long-term Reduction in Breast Cancer Risk
10. Further support for use of statins in Alzheimer’s disease
11. Clinical Impact of Activity and Abdominal Pressure on Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Need to Be Further Analyzed
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:8/18/2017)... ... August 18, 2017 , ... Radabaugh & Associates, a family ... in North-Central West Virginia, is embarking on a cooperative charity effort with the ... , The Chestnut Mountain Ranch (CMR) is a Christ-centered boarding school for young ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... ... August 18, 2017 , ... The Golseth Agency, a Texas based insurance ... is spearheading a regional charity campaign organized to provide support to Christina Upchurch and ... this year, Christina and her children returned from out of town to find her ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... IN (PRWEB) , ... August 18, 2017 , ... Inc. ... annual list, the most prestigious ranking of the nation's fastest-growing private companies. This marks ... the exclusive Inc. 5000 ranking . This year’s ranking reflects ASH’s 76 percent ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... ... ... Our Imaginations: The Infinite God”: shows the importance of God in living a happy ... author, Mark Lawrence, born in Michigan, the author has lived in various communities and ... of God is that I have to be more mindful of feminine qualities to ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... ... ... the Snake”: an entertaining and moral-based short story about an unkind snake learning a ... Jr., a husband, father and grandfather who served as a U.S. Marine, U.S. Army ... for children and teens. My goal is to teach kids to use good judgement ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:8/4/2017)... Aug. 4, 2017 The search for test ... a physician/patient consult has long been the goal of ... notable focus of the largest meeting of lab professionals ... healthcare market research firm Kalorama Information.  The firm said ... offerings or related supplies and software were at the ...
(Date:8/2/2017)... BENTON, Ky. , Aug. 2, 2017   Marshall County Hospital ... services (ES) team to proactively reduce the risk of hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). The new addition, ... that uses UVC light energy to kill deadly pathogens such as C. diff , ... Tru-D SmartUVC ... Tru-D in action in a patient ...
(Date:7/31/2017)... Mich. , July 31, 2017  Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. ... in southeast Michigan by Crain,s ... ranks private and public companies by three-year revenue growth. This ... To view the complete list, visit ... Fast 50 is an incredible triumph," said Phil Hagerman ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: