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Specific Vulnerability of Substantia Nigra Compacta Neurons

  • Marten P. SmidtEmail author
Chapter
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Part of the Journal of Neural Transmission. Supplementa book series (NEURALTRANS, volume 73)

Abstract

The specific loss of substantia nigra compacta (SNc) neurons in Parkinson's disease (PD) has been the main driving force in initiating research efforts to unravel the apparent SNc-specific vulnerability. Initially, metabolic constraints due to high dopamine turnover have been the main focus in the attempts to solve this issue. Recently, it has become clear that fundamental differences in the molecular signature are adding to the neuronal vulnerability and provide specific molecular dependencies. Here, the different processes that define the molecular background of SNc vulnerability are summarized.

Keywords

Dopamine Mesodiencephalon Midbrain Parkinson Vulnerability 

Abbreviations

CRE

Cyclization recombinase

DAT

Dopamine transporter

DOPAC

3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid

DOPAL

3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetaldehyde

En1/2

Engrailed

GDNF

Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor

MAO-A

Monoamine oxidase A

mdDA

Mesodiencephalic dopaminergic

PD

Parkinson’s disease

RA

Retinoic acid

Retinol

Vitamin A

RR

Retrorubral

SNc

Substantia nigra compacta

Tgf-β

Transforming growth factor β

VTA

Ventral tegmental area

Wv

Weaver

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© Springer-Verlag/Wien Printed in Germany 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience, Department of Neuroscience and PharmacologyUniversity Medical Center UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands

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