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Abstract

Dysfunction of the ubiquitin-proteasomal system (UPS) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease. The systemic administration of UPS inhibitors has been reported to induce nigrostriatal cell death and model Parkinson's disease pathology in rodents. We administered a synthetic, specific UPS inhibitor (PSI) subcutaneously to rats and quantified substantia nigral tyrosine hydroxylase–positive dopaminergic neurons by stereology. PSI caused a 15% decrease in UPS activity at 2 weeks and a 42% reduction in substantia nigra pars compacta tyrosine hydroxylase–positive neurons at 8 weeks. Systemic inhibition of the UPS warrants further evaluation as a means to model Parkinson's disease. Ann Neurol 2006;60:253–255