Animal Models for Parkinson's Disease
Dilip A. Patil, Vishal A. Patil, Sanjay B. Bari, Sanjay J. Surana and Pravin O. Patil
Affiliation: Department of Pharm. Chemistry, H. R. Patel Institute of Pharmaceutical Education & Research, Karwand Naka, Shirpur, Dhule, 425 405 Maharashtra, India.
Keywords: Animal models, Danio rerio, fruit fly, zebrafish, Parkin, Parkinson’s disease, RNAi.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a chronic neurodegenerative disease with major impacts on patients’ lives and on
society as a whole. It is one of the most common neurodegenerative diseases in the world, second only to Alzheimer’s
disease. Low levels of production of dopamine (DA) are associated with PD. This is caused by a progressive loss of
neurons in the midbrain’s substantia nigra, resulting in changes in neural conduction within the nigrostriatum. Research
into PD has been going on since 1960, still there is no cure although the symptoms can be effectively controlled and the
severity of the affliction can be reduced. The main obstacle in the development of neuroprotective therapy is a limited
understanding of the key molecular events that provoke neurodegeneration. A misfolding of proteins and dysfunction of
the ubiquitin–proteasome pathway are the critical factors in the pathogenesis of PD. Neurotoxic models (particularly 1-
methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine) have been very useful in elucidating the molecular cascade of cell death in
dopaminergic neurons. They are also of use in efforts to limit the progression of the disease and to prevent the long-term
functional and pathological outcome in PD. The establishment of animal and cellular models of mutations in LRRK2 and
α-synuclein, and mutations in parkin, DJ-1 and PINK1, has been of use in elucidating the molecular mechanisms of this
disorder, and research using these models is providing new ideas about the pathogenesis of PD. Several researchers are
synthesizing and screening novel derivatives for their antiparkinsonian potential using different animal models. In this
work we describe different animal models used in assessing the antiparkinson activity of novel therapeutic treatments.
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