The Control of Dopamine Neuron Development, Function and Survival: Insights From Transgenic Mice and The Relevance to Human Disease
J. B. Eells
Affiliation: National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health,NIH, NIDDK, Bldg 10, Rm 9D-06, MSC 1810, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
Keywords: dopamine neurotransmission, transgenic mice, knockout mice
Transgenic technology, especially the use of homologous recombination to disrupt specific genes to produce knockout mice, has added considerably to the understanding of dopamine (DA) neuron develop, survival and function. The current review summarizes results from knockout mice with the target disruption of genes involved in the development of DA neurons (engrailed 1 and 2, lmx1b, and Nurr1), in maintaining DA neurotransmission (tyrosine hydroxylase, vesicular monoamine transporter, DA transporter, DA D2 and D3 receptors) and important for DA neuron survival (α-synuclein, glia cell line-derived neurotrophic factor and superoxide dismutase). As alterations in DA neurotransmission have been implicated in a number of human neuropathologies including Parkinsons disease, schizophrenia and attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder, understanding how specific genes are involved in the function of DA neurons and the compensatory changes that result from loss or reduction in gene expression could provide important insight for the treatment of these diseases.
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