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Keywords:

  • Parkinson's disease;
  • transgenic mice;
  • cell culture;
  • disease models

Abstract

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a heterogenous disease likely to be caused by more than one specific aetiological factor. In rare familial cases of PD with similar clinical features to the idiopathic form of the disease, the underlying genetic cause has been identified. These PD-associated genes have been manipulated to create animal and cell culture models of the disease that have helped to further our understanding of the pathogenesis of PD, particularly concerning causes of the selective loss of dopaminergic neurons at the molecular level. In addition, these models will aid the future development of rational therapeutic strategies. This study briefly reviews toxin-induced models and the genetics of PD. It focuses on recently developed animal models of PD, as well as in vitro approaches to model the disease. © 2003 Movement Disorder Society