Science and Technology
publicado em 26/08/2010 às 16h30:00
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Viral technology operates in the search for a gene able to stop Parkinson's disease

Research uses the herpes virus to mimic, in mice, the activity of a gene present in some cases the disease

 
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Foto: Divulgação/Health Hospitals
Human cells of patients affected by Parkinson's disease
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Human cells of patients affected by Parkinson's disease

The technology developed at the University of Rochester Medical Center, United States, enabling scientists to activate genes exactly when and where they want, in the nervous system, is helping scientists in search of an agent capable of interrupting the Parkinson's disease.

The work is using the herpes virus to help mimic, in mice, the activity of a gene that plays a role in some cases of Parkinson's disease. Scientists have used viruses to carry a copy of the defective gene in mice, creating conditions similar to a human brain with Parkinson's disease. A step allowed the researchers to then search on the search for a compound that can halt the toxicity of the gene.

"Although there are many medications to treat the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, there is currently no drug available to prevent the death of nerve cells that form the core of the disease," says neuroscientist William Bowers. "This study identifies some viable candidates that show promise against some formulas of the disease."

Although the exact cause of Parkinson's disease is still unclear, most researchers believe that a combination of genetic and environmental factors is responsible. Scientists were targeted molecule LRRK2, which they believe is the most common known genetic mutation. for contributing to the disease. When LRRK2 does not function correctly in patients with Parkinson's disease, brain cells that produce dopamine die.

Bowers used the technology to reproduce the herpes activity of a defective version of LRRK2 in mice. The gene became active in nerve cells of the mice, killing those that produce dopamine, and causing symptoms similar to Parkinson's disease in humans.

Then the team tested 70 compounds in the laboratory and found eight who stopped the toxic activity of the errant gene. Two of the compounds were tested in mice carrying the gene LRRK2 harmful; a compound protected almost all dopamine neurons, while the latter countered the toxic effects of LRRK2 in 80% of neurons.

The work is the latest in a series of experiments over the last decade, developed the system as a form of herpes carry the genes to the nervous system, to connect them and turn them off when necessary.

Source: Isaude.net
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Parkinson's disease    technology    viral    herpes virus    William Bowers    University of Rochester Medical Center   
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