Rodent Models and Contemporary Molecular Techniques: Notable Feats yet Incomplete Explanations of Parkinson’s Disease Pathogenesis
Oxidative stress is implicated in Parkinson's disease (PD). Metallothioneins (MT), cytochrome P450 IIE1 (CYP2E1) and glutathione S-transferases alpha4-4 (GSTA4-4) are involved in oxidative stress-mediated damage. Altered dopamine transporter (DAT) and vesicular monoamine transporter-2 (VMAT-2) are also documented in PD. The present study was undertaken to investigate the effect of Zn and PQ co-exposure on neurodegeneration in rats. A significant reduction was observed in spontaneous locomotor activity (SLA), striatal dopamine (DA) levels, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunoreactivity, glutathione reductase (GR) and catalase activity along with increased lipid peroxidation (LPO) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity after Zn and/or PQ exposure. Zn and/or PQ exposure increased gene expression of DAT, CYP2E1, GSTA4-4, MT-I and MT-II, but reduced the expression of VMAT-2. Protein expression analysis of TH, VMAT-2 and DAT showed results similar to those obtained with gene expression study. Zn and PQ co-exposure caused a more pronounced effect than that of individual exposure. The results obtained in this study suggest that, similar to PQ, Zn induced neurodegeneration via alterations in oxidative stress and expression of the above-mentioned genes. However, the effect of Zn+PQ was only slightly higher than that of alone, indicating that probably Zn and PQ follow some different molecular events leading to neurodegeneration.