6-Hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA), a synthetic neurotoxin, has been used to generate animal models of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Even though 6-OHDA induced neurodegenerative model in rat, it does not reproduce all the symptoms of the disease, but it does replicate most of the cellular processes such as oxidative stress, neurodegeneration, neuroinflammation and apoptotic neuronal death. The knowledge of the mechanisms involved in neurodegeneration is relevant to define possible therapeutic targets for PD.
Part of the book: Experimental Animal Models of Human Diseases
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is characterized by the activation of degenerative and inflammatory processes in brain circuits that control movement and, according to the degree of progression of the damage, can cause neuropsychological disorders such as cognitive dysfunction. Changes in gene expression profile or post-translational modifications in secretory proteins such as neurotrophic factors could define the disease progression. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is relevant, because it not only participates in neuronal survival, neurotransmission, dendritic growth and cellular communication but also in disease progression. In this chapter, considering both experimental evidences and clinical reports, the authors will analyze the contribution of BDNF as one of the causes of neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation; discuss the participation of this neurotrophic factor in the development of cognitive dysfunction, and finally the scope of novel BDNF-based therapies for PD.
Part of the book: Parkinson's Disease and Beyond