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 Some brain tumors may respond to immunotherapy, new study suggests
11.12.2018 | Columbia University Irving Medical Center

nachricht Climate change and air pollution damaging health and causing millions of premature deaths
30.11.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

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: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

UNLV study unlocks clues to how planets form

13.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Live from the ocean research vessel Atlantis

13.12.2018 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researcher deciphers flows that help bacteria feed and organize biofilms

13.12.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>