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Disease models

Transgenic mouse model of early a-synuclein (SNCA) overexpression in Parkinson's disease (PD)

An SNCA-overexpressing transgenic mouse PD model could help define early defects in dopaminergic neurons and help evaluate candidate therapeutic strategies. The mice show 1.9-fold increased expression of human SNCA over endogenous levels at developmental stages and more closely mimic PD-relevant pathology compared with existing models. In these mice, high levels of SNCA resulted in a persistent decrease of dopamine release in the brain that occurred prior to the loss of dopamine neurons or onset of motor deficits. Next steps could include using the model to evaluate early intervention strategies for PD.

SciBX 6(42); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.1201
Published online Oct. 31, 2013

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Janezic, S. et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA; published online Sept. 30, 2013;
Contact: Richard Wade-Martins, University of Oxford, Oxford, U.K.