Patricia S. Muñoz

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The molecular mechanisms involved in the neurodegenerative process of Parkinson's disease remain unclear. Currently, there is a general agreement that mitochondrial dysfunction, α-synuclein aggregation, oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, and impaired protein degradation are involved in the neurodegeneration of dopaminergic neurons containing neuromelanin(More)
There are several interrelated mechanisms involving iron, dopamine, and neuromelanin in neurons. Neuromelanin accumulates during aging and is the catecholamine-derived pigment of the dopamine neurons of the substantia nigra and norepinephrine neurons of the locus coeruleus, the two neuronal populations most targeted in Parkinson's disease. Many cellular(More)
The molecular mechanisms causing the loss of dopaminergic neurons containing neuromelanin in the substantia nigra and responsible for motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease are still unknown. The discovery of genes associated with Parkinson's disease (such as alpha synuclein (SNCA), E3 ubiquitin protein ligase (parkin), DJ-1 (PARK7), ubiquitin(More)
The review of Lindholm et al. [1] is very interesting and raised a very important point which require a more deeply discussion. This publication reveals the failure of both the scientific community and the pharmaceutical companies to discover new treatments for Parkinson’s disease (PD) despite the intensive research performed during the last five decades.(More)
Aminochrome, the precursor of neuromelanin, has been proposed to be involved in the neurodegeneration neuromelanin-containing dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson's disease. We aimed to study the mechanism of aminochrome-dependent cell death in a cell line derived from rat substantia nigra. We found that aminochrome (50μM), in the presence of NAD(P)H-quinone(More)
Neurodegenerative disorders have a common characteristic that is the involvement of different cell types, typically the reactivity of astrocytes and microglia, characterizing gliosis, which in turn contributes to the neuronal dysfunction and or death. Flavonoids are secondary metabolites of plant origin widely investigated at present and represent one of(More)
DT-Diaphorase has been proposed to play a neuroprotective role in dopaminergic neurons by preventing aminochrome neurotoxicity. There are several studies supporting this idea, but in all studies, we used dicoumarol, an inhibitor of DT-diaphorase. We have designed and developed two siRNA to silence the expression of DT-diaphorase to study its role in(More)
In previous studies, we observed that cells treated with aminochrome obtained by oxidizing dopamine with oxidizing agents dramatically changed cell morphology, thus posing the question if such morphological changes were dependent on aminochrome or the oxidizing agents used to produce aminochrome. Therefore, to answer this question, we have now purified(More)
U373MG cells constitutively express glutathione S-transferase mu 2 (GSTM2) and exhibit (3)H-dopamine uptake, which is inhibited by 2 µM of nomifensine and 15 µM of estradiol. We generated a stable cell line (U373MGsiGST6) expressing an siRNA against GSTM2 that resulted in low GSTM2 expression (26% of wild-type U373MG cells). A significant increase in cell(More)
We tested the hypothesis that both VMAT-2 and DT-diaphorase are an important cellular defense against aminochrome-dependent neurotoxicity during dopamine oxidation. A cell line with VMAT-2 and DT-diaphorase over-expressed was created. The transfection of RCSN-3 cells with a bicistronic plasmid coding for VMAT-2 fused with GFP-IRES-DT-diaphorase cDNA induced(More)