María José Casarejos

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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)
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)
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)
Abnormal deposition of protein tau takes place in the brain of patients with several neurodegenerative diseases. Few of these patients present frontotemporal dementia with parkinsonism and amyotrophy (FTDPA-17), an autosomal dominant tauopathy related to mutations of the gene that codes for protein tau, localized in chromosome 17. The great majority of(More)
Mesencephalic glia produce soluble factors that protect dopamine neurons from L-DOPA toxicity. The chemical composition of these soluble factors is unknown. We investigated the protective effect against L-DOPA neurotoxicity in midbrain dopamine neurons of fractions of different molecular size of glia conditioned medium and candidate neuroprotective agents(More)
Parkin mutations in humans produce parkinsonism whose pathogenesis is related to impaired protein degradation, increased free radicals, and abnormal neurotransmitter release. The role of glia in parkin deficiency is little known. We cultured midbrain glia from wild-type (WT) and parkin knock-out (PK-KO) mice. After 18-20 d in vitro, PK-KO glial cultures had(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)
l-DOPA is the most effective treatment for Parkinson's disease but in isolated neuronal cultures it is neurotoxic for dopamine (DA) neurones. Experiments in vivo and clinical studies have failed to show toxicity of l-DOPA in animals or patients but that does not exclude the possibility of a toxic effect of l-DOPA on patients with certain genetic risk(More)
Nitric oxide (NO) is a modulator of differentiation and survival of dopamine (DA) neurons. NO may play a role in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD) since its levels are increased in parkinsonian brains and it can nitrosylate and alter the function of key proteins involved in the pathogenesis of PD. NO producing neurons are spared in parkinsonian(More)
The method described herein provides a convenient and rapid procedure to obtain enriched neuronal cultures containing reproducible numbers of dopamine (DA) cells. These cultures allow experimental paradigms designed to study the effect of drugs on DA neurons without astroglial mediation. Neuronal-enriched cultures are prepared from the mesencephalon of rat(More)