Ellen Gerhardt

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Synphilin-1 is linked to the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD) based on its identification as an alpha-synuclein (PARK1) and parkin (PARK2) interacting protein. Moreover, synphilin-1 is a component of Lewy bodies (LB) in brains of sporadic PD patients. Therefore, we performed a detailed mutation analysis of the synphilin-1 gene in 328 German familial(More)
1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) produces clinical, biochemical, and neuropathological changes reminiscent of those occurring in idiopathic Parkinson's disease (PD). Here we show that a peptide caspase inhibitor, N-benzyloxy-carbonyl-val-ala-asp-fluoromethyl ketone, or adenoviral gene transfer (AdV) of a protein caspase inhibitor,(More)
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor plays a key role in neuronal and axonal survival. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor is expressed in the immune cells in lesions of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis and multiple sclerosis, thus potentially mediating neuroprotective effects. We investigated the functional role of brain-derived neurotrophic factor in(More)
The contribution of Fas (CD95/APO-1) to cell death mechanisms of differentiated neurons is controversially discussed. Rat cerebellar granule neurons (CGNs) express high levels of Fas in vitro but are resistant to FasL (CD95L/APO-1L/CD178)-induced apoptosis. We here show that this resistance was mediated by a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI(More)
Cerebellar granule neurons (CGN) cultured in the presence of serum and depolarizing potassium concentrations undergo apoptosis when switched to serum-free medium containing physiological potassium concentrations. Here we show that processing of the key protease, caspase-3, depends on the activation of caspase-9, but not of caspase-8. Selective peptide(More)
Heterozygous loss-of-function mutation of the human gene for the mitochondrial protease HtrA2 has been associated with increased risk to develop mitochondrial dysfunction, a process known to contribute to neurodegenerative disorders such as Huntington's disease (HD) and Parkinson's disease (PD). Knockout of HtrA2 in mice also leads to mitochondrial(More)
In order to achieve neuron-restricted expression of antiapoptotic proteins, cellular promoters were investigated for their expression profiles in the context of adenoviral vectors. Both the synapsin 1 gene and the tubulin alpha1 gene promoters were strictly neuron specific in cocultures of primary neurons with their essential feeder cells. The(More)
Tau abnormalities play a central role in several neurodegenerative diseases, collectively known as tauopathies. In the present study, we examined whether mutant huntingtin (mHtt), which causes Huntington's disease (HD), modifies Tau phosphorylation and subcellular localization using cell and mouse HD models. Initially, we used novel bimolecular fluorescence(More)
The nervous system is frequently the site of symptomatic toxicity of antineoplastic agents. However, there is limited information about the differential vulnerability of neurons, astrocytes and glioma cells. We have analyzed the effects of four chemotherapeutic drugs (lomustine, cisplatin, topotecan and vincristine) on primary cerebellar granule neurons and(More)
Overexpression or mutation of α-Synuclein is associated with protein aggregation and interferes with a number of cellular processes, including mitochondrial integrity and function. We used a whole-genome screen in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster to search for novel genetic modifiers of human [A53T]α-Synuclein-induced neurotoxicity. Decreased(More)