Models of Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease (PD) at cellular level is characterized by selective death of dopamine neurons in nigral pars compacta. The type of cell death remains an enigma, even though recent results suggest that apoptosis may be a common type of cell death. Since the discovery of a neurotoxin selective to dopamine neurons, l-methyl-4-phenyl-1, 2, 3, 6-tetrahydro-pyridine (MPTP), various types of animal and cell models have been proposed to clarify the pathogenesis of PD. In this paper, an endogenous dopaminergic neurotoxin, N-methyl-(R)salsolinol [NM(R)Sal] was used to prepare the animal and cell models, and the mechanism underlying the selective degeneration of dopamine neurons was studied. By use of the cell model, a series of (-)deprenyl (selegiline) related propargylamines showed neuroprotective functions against apoptosis induced by the neurotoxin. These results are discussed in relation to the validity of animal and cell models in the study of PD and related neurodegenerative disorders.
KeywordsCell Model Dopamine Neuron Selective Degeneration Parkinsonian Brain Selective Death
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