The degeneration of midbrain dopaminergic neurons is the hallmark of the pathology of Parkinsons Disease (PD). Dopaminergic neurons represent less than 1% of the total number of neurons in the brain, though regulating such important brain functions as motor control, motivation, and working memory. Primary cultures constitute one of the most relevant models to investigate properties and characteristics of dopaminergic neurons.
QPS Neuropharmacology provides primary dopaminergic TH (tyrosine hydroxylase) positive neurons from the ventral mesencephalon of rats. These cultures can be submitted to various stress agents that mimic PD pathology (MPP+, 6-OHDA) and to neuroprotective compounds in order to stop or slow down neuronal degeneration. A software supported automatic quantification method allows the determination of the following end points such as TH cell numbers, neurite outgrowth or apoptosis. A controlled regeneration or the prevention of degeneration of dopaminergic neurons are promising therapeutic approaches.
Figure: Effects of a developmental Compound X on the number of primary rat TH neurons from the ventral mesencephalon.