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Mutations of the parkin gene are the most frequent cause of early onset autosomal recessive parkinsonism (EO-AR). Here we show that inactivation of the parkin gene in mice results in motor and cognitive deficits, inhibition of amphetamine-induced dopamine release and inhibition of glutamate neurotransmission. The levels of dopamine are increased in the(More)
Cannabinoids are neuroprotective in models of neurodegenerative dementias. Their effects are mostly mediated through CB1 and CB2 receptor-dependent modulation of excitotoxicity, inflammation, oxidative stress, and other processes. We tested the effects of Sativex®, a mixture of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol, acting on both CB1 and CB2 receptors,(More)
The toxicity of L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA) was studied in neuronal cultures from rat mesencephalon. The survival and function of DA neurons were assessed by the number of tyrosine hydroxylase-positive (TH+) cells and 3H-DA uptake and those non-DA neurons by the exclusion of Trypan blue and the high-affinity 3H-GABA uptake. L-DOPA was toxic for(More)
Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder which is in most cases of unknown etiology. Mutations of the Park-2 gene are the most frequent cause of familial parkinsonism and parkin knockout (PK-KO) mice have abnormalities that resemble the clinical syndrome. We investigated the interaction of genetic and environmental factors, treating midbrain(More)
There is a great interest in the environmental and genetic factors which modify the risk of Alzheimer's disease since the manipulation of these factors could help to change the prevalence and natural course of this disease. Among the first group, anesthesia and surgery have been considered as risk enhancers, based mostly on "in vitro" experiments and(More)
Tauopathies are neurodegenerative diseases, sporadic or familial, mainly characterized by dementia and parkinsonism associated to atrophy of the frontotemporal cortex and the basal ganglia, with deposition of abnormal tau in brain. Hereditary tauopathies are related with mutations of the tau gene. Up to the present, these diseases have not been helped by(More)
Nitric oxide (NO) may act as a neuroprotector or neurotoxic agent in dopamine neurons, depending on cell redox status. We have investigated the effect of several thiolic antioxidants, glutathione (GSH), its cell permeable analog GSH ethyl ester (GSHEE), and the GSH synthesis precursor L-N-acetyl cysteine (L-NAC), as well as non-thiolic antioxidants like(More)
To date, glutathione (GSH) depletion is the earliest biochemical alteration shown in brains of Parkinson's disease patients, but the role of GSH in dopamine cell survival is debated. In this study we show that GSH depletion, produced with GSH synthesis inhibitor, L-buthionine-(S,R)-sulfoximine (BSO), induces selectively neuronal cell death in neuron/glia,(More)
Neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease and others are due to accumulation of abnormal proteins which fold improperly and impair neuronal function. Accumulation of these proteins could be achieved by several mechanisms including mutation, overproduction or impairment of its degradation. Inhibition of(More)
Estrogens are considered neurotrophic for dopamine neurons. Parkinson's disease is more frequent in males than in females, and more prevalent in females with short reproductive life. Estrogens are neuroprotective against neurotoxic agents for dopamine neurons in vivo and in vitro. Here, we have investigated the role of estrogens in wild-type (WT) and parkin(More)