Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Is the treatment of Parkinson’s disease possible with a new neurotrophic factor in the future ?

05.07.2007
Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative brain disease characterized by the loss of dopamine neurons in the midbrain-area called Substantia Nigra.

The research group led by professor Mart Saarma, Director of the Institute of Biotechnology, University of Helsinki, has discovered a novel neurotrophic factor CDNF (Conserved Dopamine Neurotrophic Factor). CDNF was shown to protect and even rescue damaged dopamine neurons in an experimental model of Parkinson’s disease in studies performed by the research group of professor Raimo K. Tuominen, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland. More importantly, also the function of the neurons was recovered after an experimental lesion of the dopamine neurons in Substantia Nigra.

The findings of this research may be of great importance for the development of new treatment strategies for Parkinson’s disease. The results of this study will be published in “Nature” on July 5th, 2007.

Approximately one percent of people aged over 60 get Parkinson’s disease all over the World. The demographic change with increasing number of elderly people will lead in doubling of the number of Parkinsonian patients also in Finland during 2005 – 2030. Typical symptoms in Parkinson’s disease are those of muscle rigidity, tremor, and slowness of movement. They are a consequence of the degeneration of dopamine nerves projecting from Substantia Nigra to Caudate Putamen (also called Striatum). The clinical symptoms manifest when approximately 70 % of the dopamine nerves have been destroyed. Degeneration of the dopamine nerves progresses slowly, and in time the difficulties in movement becomes a major factor reducing the quality of life of these patients.

Current drug treatment of Parkinson’s disease aims at increasing dopamine concentration and / or activation of dopamine receptors in the brain. Due to the progression of the nerve degeneration the drug therapy gradually becomes less effective. Neurotrophic factors which could slow down or even halt the progression of the degeneration of dopamine nerves have been in the focus as a possible new treatment for Parkinson’s disease. Glial cell- line derived neurotrophic fctor (GDNF) is one example of such a promising growth factor. Indeed, it was shown to have beneficial effects in a clinical trial in Parkinsonian patients suffering from severe symptoms. However, due to adverse effects the clinical trials have been stopped, even though some of the patients would have continued the therapy. Even so, the clinical trials on GDNF gave the proof of concept for the use of neurotrophic factorstreatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore it is very important to search for new growth factors with similar efficacy as GDNF, but with better tolerability.

Conserved dopamine neurotrophic (CDNF) factor discovered and characterized in this study is well conserved in the evolution. It belongs to a CDNF/MANF family of proteins, which is the first evolutionarily conserved family of neurotrophic factors having a representative also in invertebrate animals (MANF = mesencephalic astrocyte derived neurotrophic factor).

In an experimental model of Parkinson’s disease, a neurotoxin 6-OHDA was injected on one side of the brain into the striatum of rats. This toxin causes a progressive degeneration of dopamine nerves similar to that observed in Parkinsons disease. Upon activation of dopamine nerves of the brain by drugs, these animals show a movement disorder, a circling behaviour, which reflects an imbalance of dopamine activity of the brain hemispheres.

A single injection of CDNF six hours before the toxin delivery into the striatum significantly prevented the degeneration of dopamine nerves in the brain and also the turning behavior was normalized. When administered four weeks after the toxin, situation mimicking a progression of the nerve degeneration in patients, injection of CDNF into Striatum was able to prevent the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons and cure the behavioral imbalance.

The results of the present study show that CDNF is a very promising new neurotrophic factor with a significant neuroprotective and neurorestorative effects on dopamine nerves in the brain. It may have significant potential in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease in the future as a neuro protective or even neurorestorative therapy.

Title of the article in “Nature”: Novel neurotrophic factor CDNF protects and rescues midbrain dopamine neurons in vivo

Authors: Päivi Lindholm1, Merja H. Voutilainen2, Juha Laurén1†, Johan Peränen1, Veli-Matti Leppänen1, Jaan-Olle Andressoo1, Maria Lindahl1, Sanna Janhunen2#, Nisse Kalkkinen1, Tõnis Timmusk1,3, Raimo K. Tuominen2 & Mart Saarma1

Ms. Päivi Lindholm, M.Sc., had a central role in the discovery of CDNF and Mrs. Merja H. Vuotilainen (born Kauppinen), M.Sc. performed the studies on experimental model of Parkinson’s disease.

For further information, please contact:

Prof. Mart Saarma (050 5002726)
Prof. Raimo K. Tuominen 050 5548005)
M.Sc. Päivi Lindholm (040 5239884)
M.Sc. Merja H. Voutilainen (050 4002191)

Terttu Nurro | alfa
Further information:
http://www.helsinki.fi

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Oxygen can wake up dormant bacteria for antibiotic attacks
08.12.2016 | Penn State

nachricht NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology
07.12.2016 | Nanyang Technological University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Closing the carbon loop

08.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Applicability of dynamic facilitation theory to binary hard disk systems

08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Scientists track chemical and structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3-D

08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>