Researchers in Montréal led by Jacques Drouin, D.Sc., associate member of the Department of Medicine (Division of Experimental Medicine), adjunct professor of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, and adjunct member of the Department of Biochemistry at McGill University, uncovered a mechanism regulating dopamine levels in the brain by working on a mouse model of late onset Parkinson’s disease. The study, conducted in collaboration with Dr. Rory A. Fisher from the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, is published online today by the scientific journal PLoS Genetics.
Using gene expression profiling, a method to measure the activity of thousands of genes, researchers investigated dopaminergic neurons in the midbrain, which are nerve cells that use dopamine to send signals to other nerve cells. These neurons are known to degenerate in Parkinson’s disease.
“We identified the Rgs6 gene for its restricted expression in dopaminergic neurons,” explains Dr. Drouin, Director of the Molecular Genetics laboratory at the IRCM. “We had previously shown that this gene is itself controlled by a transcription factor called Pitx3, which plays an important role in the survival of these neurons.”
Click here to read the full press release.
December 11, 2014