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Keywords:

  • animal models;
  • Parkinson's disease;
  • worm;
  • fly;
  • mouse;
  • transgenic;
  • virus;
  • bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC)

Abstract

Background:

Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder mainly characterized by the loss of dopaminergic neurons from the substantia nigra pars compacta and the presence, in the affected brain regions, of protein inclusions named Lewy Bodies. Despite the fact that numerous mutations causing hereditary forms of Parkinson's disease have been identified in the last decade, current transgenic animal models do not adequately reproduce cardinal features of the human disease. Altogether, the animal models derived of human mutations indicate that the nigrostriatal degenerative process results from the combination of several mechanisms that implicate mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative damage, and protein degradation impairment.

Methods and Results:

We performed a literature search between 2008 and 2010.

Discussion:

The absence of adequate in vivo experimental models of Parkinson's disease has severe repercussions for therapeutic intervention success for this incurable neurodegenerative disorder. The present nonexhaustive review looks at invertebrate and mammalian models of Parkinson's disease generated in the last three years. © 2011 Movement Disorder Society