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Browsing by Subject "AAV vector"

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  • Tamminen, Tuulia (2012)
    Parkinson's disease is a progressive degenerative brain disease that causes degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. Characteristic motor symptoms in Parkinson's disease are caused by dopamine deficiency in striatum. Tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) is the enzyme that catalyzes the rate-limiting step in the dopamine biosynthesis. Because of this TH has a significant role in the function of the dopaminergic system. TH activity is regulated by several mechanisms. The most important regulatory mechanism is phosphorylation of TH protein by spesific protein kinases. Alterations in the function of TH have been associated with Parkinson's disease. The most prominent findings are decreased TH protein and TH mRNA content in the nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons. A possible pathogenic role of TH in Parkinson's disease has also been suggested. In addition TH might be a potential therapeutic protein for gene therapy. One possible approach is viral vector-mediated gene transfer of TH gene directly into the brain. Simultaneous gene transfer of TH gene and neurotrophic factor gene could both enhance dopamine synthesis and prevent remaining dopaminergic neurons from dying. None of the current treatments of Parkinson's disease can halt or retard dopaminergic neuron degeneration. Novel treatments are being developed and amongst other strategies neurotrophic factors have proven promising candidates for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. Member of CDNF/MANF family of neurotrophic factors, cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor (CDNF), is currently being studied. Previous studies have demonstrated the neuroprotective and neurorestorative effects of CDNF but more research is needed for optimal administration technique and dose. The aim of this work was to study the neuroprotective effect of AAV vector-mediated delivery of CDNF (AAV-CDNF) in a rat model of Parkinson's disease. Rats' brains were unilaterally lesioned with intrastriatal injection of 6-OHDA two weeks after viral vector injections and amphetamine-induced rotational behavior was monitored for ten weeks. The CDNF protein expression after intrastriatal AAV vector-mediated gene transfer was analyzed with immunohistochemical staining of brain sections. We confirmed that CDNF protein is expressed in rat brain after intrastriatal injection of AAV-CDNF. AAV-CDNF treatment also reduced the amphetamineinduced ipsilateral rotations nearly as much as AAV-GDNF treatment. AAV-CDNF treatment also had an effect on the amount of remaining TH-immunoreactive cells in the substantia nigra pars compacta and the optical density of striatal TH-immunoreactive fibers but these results did not reach statistical significance. The immunohistochemical measures did not correlate completely with the behavioral data and further studies are needed to confirm the results obtained here. The results of this research support the conclusion that AAV-CDNF treatment has a neuroprotective effect on nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons.