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Dysfunction of the nigrostriatal system is the major cause of Parkinson's disease (PD). This brain region is therefore an important target for gene delivery aiming at disease modeling and gene therapy. Recombinant adeno-associated viral (rAAV) vectors have been developed as efficient vehicles for gene transfer into the central nervous system. Recently,(More)
Loss-of-function mutations in the gene encoding the mitochondrial PTEN-induced putative kinase 1 (PINK1) are a major cause of early-onset familial Parkinson's disease (PD). Recent studies have highlighted an important function for PINK1 in clearing depolarized mitochondria by mitophagy. However, the role of PINK1 in mitochondrial and cellular functioning in(More)
Gene discovery and gene therapy call for advanced technologies to reliably assess gene expression; efficient coupling of gene expression to the expression of reporter genes is critical. Various noninvasive molecular imaging modalities have emerged to track biological processes in animal models. Here, we evaluate various strategies to link transgene(More)
It is now generally accepted that continuous neurogenesis occurs in the adult mammalian brain, including that of humans. Modulation of adult neurogenesis can provide therapeutic benefits for various brain disorders, including stroke and Parkinson's disease. The subventricular zone-olfactory bulb pathway is one of the preferred model systems by which to(More)
Fetal gene therapy is one of the possible new therapeutic strategies for congenital or perinatal diseases with high mortality or morbidity. We developed a novel delivery strategy to inject directly into the fetal mouse trachea. Intratracheal (i.t.) injection at embryonic day 18 (E18) was more efficient in targeting the fetal lung than conventional(More)
Transplantation of neural stem cells (NSC) is hoped to become a promising primary or secondary therapy for the treatment of various neurodegenerative disorders of the central nervous system (CNS), as demonstrated by multiple pre-clinical animal studies in which functional recovery has already been demonstrated. However, for NSC therapy to be successful, the(More)
The Parkinson's disease (PD)-associated gene DJ-1 mediates direct neuroprotection. The up-regulation of DJ-1 in reactive astrocytes also suggests a role in glia. Here we show that DJ-1 regulates proinflammatory responses in mouse astrocyte-rich primary cultures. When treated with a Toll-like receptor 4 agonist, the bacterial endotoxin lipopolysaccharide(More)
alpha-Synuclein (alpha-SYN) is a key player in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD). In pathological conditions, the protein is present in a fibrillar, aggregated form inside cytoplasmic inclusions called Lewy bodies. Members of the FK506 binding protein (FKBP) family are peptidyl-prolyl isomerases that were shown recently to accelerate the(More)
Gene transfer into the central nervous system is an emerging therapeutic strategy for a range of neurological diseases, including neurodegeneration. This approach would benefit from imaging technologies that could determine the extent, magnitude, and duration of transgene expression. We have used bioluminescence imaging (BLI) to image lentiviral(More)
Brain injury following stroke affects neurogenesis in the adult mammalian brain. However, a complete understanding of the origin and fate of the endogenous neural stem cells (eNSCs) in vivo is missing. Tools and technology that allow non-invasive imaging and tracking of eNSCs in living animals will help to overcome this hurdle. In this study, we aimed to(More)