Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a slowly progressive neurodegenerative disease clinically characterized by progressive motor impairment in affected people. Synaptic and axonal degeneration is followed by loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra leads to reduced levels of dopamine in the nigrostriatal circuitry. Besides dopaminergic cell loss, intracellular formation of Lewy bodies, consisting predominantly of aggregated alpha-synuclein, has been suggested to be crucial in the pathogenesis of this disease.
PD is a complex, multifactorial disease in which different factors concur to the pathogenic process. In vitro models (established cell lines, primary cell cultures or lesion models) offer the advantage of a controlled environment favorable for exploring single pathogenic mechanisms and the genes/proteins involved.
On the cellular level, research in PD focuses on:
- Neurotoxicity (MPP+, 6-OHDA, BSO,…)
- Excitotoxicity (NMDA, glutamate,…)
- Mitochondrial dysfunction
- Defects in protein degradation
QPS Austria offers several cellular solutions to model PD pathology in vitro: