Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Environmental Toxins Can Cause Parkinson’s Disease Model in Rats

22.06.2004


Scientists have induced a movement disorder in rats that closely resembles Parkinson’s disease in humans. The study, published June 21, 2004, in the online edition of the Annals of Neurology, suggests that natural toxins found in the environment could contribute to the development of this debilitating movement disorder.

The compounds, called proteasome inhibitors, can be produced by bacteria and fungi. Man-made proteasome inhibitors may also find their way into the environment.

"These results suggest that we should determine how widespread these toxins are in the environment, how humans are exposed to them, and how such exposures correlate with the incidence of Parkinson’s disease," said lead author Kevin St. P. McNaught, PhD, of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.



Ironically, proteasome inhibitors are currently being used as a treatment for cancer.

Parkinson’s disease afflicts up to a million Americans. Symptoms can include slowness of movement, tremor when at rest, muscle rigidity abnormalities of gait. Parkinson’s symptoms can be traced to the progressive death of nerve cells, most prominently in an area of the brain called the substantia nigra accompanied by a loss of the brain chemical dopamine.

What kills the nerve cells in Parkinson’s is not known, but it is suspected that the majority of cases are related to environmental factors that could include exposure to toxins.

Several animal models of Parkinson’s disease exist, but none recapitulate the features of the disease as closely as the present model, said C. Warren Olanow, M.D., Ph.D., chair of neurology at Mount Sinai, and a co-author of the study.

Proteasomes are responsible for eliminating abnormal proteins from cells, acting like a garbage disposal system. Based on growing evidence that proteasomes are defective in Parkinson’s disease, McNaught and colleagues examined the effects of experimentally interfering with proteasomes in laboratory rats, using both man-made and naturally occurring proteasome inhibitors.

About two weeks after receiving injections of proteasome inhibitors, the rats began to show symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease, including slowness of movement, rigidity, and tremor. "These symptoms gradually worsened over a period of months, and could be reversed with drugs that are used to treat Parkinson’s patients," said McNaught.

Imaging studies of the living animals’ brains demonstrated changes in a pattern identical to that seen in Parkinson’s disease. Similarly, autopsy studies on the animals’ brains demonstrated a reduction in brain levels of dopamine and nerve cell loss in a pattern that closely resembled Parkinson’s disease.

"We create animal models of a disease for several reasons," said Dr. Olanow. "We can use the model to find underlying mechanisms responsible for the disease, identify targets for drug development, and test any new therapies. Our present model should facilitate accomplishing these goals in Parkinson’s disease."

McNaught notes that epoxomicin, one of the most potent proteasome inhibitors known, is produced by the common actinomycetes bacteria, which is found in soil and well water throughout the world.

"It’s only speculation at this point, but the fact that living in rural areas and drinking well water has been reported to be associated with higher rates of Parkinson’s disease could be related to higher levels of proteasome inhibitors found in these areas" said Dr. Olanow.

Article: “Systemic Exposure to Proteasome Inhibitors Causes a Progressive Model of Parkinson’s Disease,” Kevin St. P. McNaught, Daniel P. Pearl, Anna-Liisa Brownell, and C. Warren Olanow, Annals of Neurology; Published Online: June 21, 2004 (DOI: 10.1002/ana.20186).

The Annals of Neurology, the preeminent neurological journal worldwide, is published by the American Neurological Association, the world’s oldest and most prestigious neurological association. The 1,400 members of the ANA--selected from among the most respected academic neurologists and neuroscientists in North America and other countries--are devoted to furthering the understanding and treatment of nervous system disorders.

ANA | newswise
Further information:
http://www.aneuroa.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Touch Displays WAY-AX and WAY-DX by WayCon

27.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Drones that drive

27.06.2017 | Information Technology

Ultra-compact phase modulators based on graphene plasmons

27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>