RXR activation -- hope for new Parkinson's disease treatment

Dec 11, 2009

Following up on their previous work showing the rescue of dopamine neurons by chemicals that interact with the retinoid X receptor (RXR), researchers have now investigated the potential of these chemicals, known as RXR ligands, for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. Writing in the open access journal BMC Neuroscience the scientists describe the use of two cellular models of Parkinsonian damage to explore the neuroprotective function of the two RXR ligands LG268 and XCT.

Susanna Kjellander worked with a team of researchers from the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Sweden, to test both the ligands and a novel neuronal platform. She said, "Nuclear hormone receptors like RXR and the Nurr1-RXR receptor heterodimer are emerging as interesting factors in Parkinson's research. It is unclear exactly how are damaged in Parkinson's disease, but it is suggested that oxidative damage and energy depletion in the brain are involved. By activating RXR, neurons can be rescued from this degeneration".

The researchers used two different dopaminergic cell systems as models of Parkinson's disease. First, they were able to mimic some of the conditions that may be present in people with the disease by applying a neurotoxin to primary neurons derived from the rat ventral midbrain. They found that the two RXR-activating ligands studied were able to selectively protect dopaminergic neurons from the stress induced in this model. The results were then confirmed in a novel system in which dopaminergic neurons generated from mouse were treated with the neurotoxin. They conclude, "The regulation of RXR activity holds promise to contribute to a novel, alternative strategy to treat Parkinson's disease".

More information: Activation of Retinoid X Receptor increases dopamine cell survival in models for Parkinson's disease, Stina Friling, Maria Bergsland and Susanna Kjellander, BMC Neuroscience (in press), www.biomedcentral.com/bmcneurosci/

Source: BioMed Central (news : web)

Explore further: Clot dissolver tPA's tardy twin could aid in stroke recovery

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

New ALS associated gene identified using innovative strategy

9 hours ago

Using an innovative exome sequencing strategy, a team of international scientists led by John Landers, PhD, at the University of Massachusetts Medical School has shown that TUBA4A, the gene encoding the Tubulin Alpha 4A protein, ...

Can bariatric surgery lead to severe headache?

10 hours ago

Bariatric surgery may be a risk factor for a condition that causes severe headaches, according to a study published in the October 22, 2014, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurol ...

Bipolar disorder discovery at the nano level

10 hours ago

A nano-sized discovery by Northwestern Medicine scientists helps explain how bipolar disorder affects the brain and could one day lead to new drug therapies to treat the mental illness.

Brain simulation raises questions

14 hours ago

What does it mean to simulate the human brain? Why is it important to do so? And is it even possible to simulate the brain separately from the body it exists in? These questions are discussed in a new paper ...

Human skin cells reprogrammed directly into brain cells

14 hours ago

Scientists have described a way to convert human skin cells directly into a specific type of brain cell affected by Huntington's disease, an ultimately fatal neurodegenerative disorder. Unlike other techniques ...

User comments : 0