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GDNF and protection of adult central catecholaminergic neurons

AuthorsPascual Bravo, Alberto ; Hidalgo Figueroa, María; Gómez-Díaz, Raquel; López-Barneo, José
Issue Date2011
PublisherSociety for Endocrinology
CitationJournal of Molecular Endocrinology 46: R83-R92 (2011)
AbstractNeurotrophic factors are small proteins necessary for neuron survival and maintenance of phenotype. They are considered as promising therapeutic tools for neurodegenerative diseases. The glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) protects catecholaminergic cells from toxic insults; thus, its potential therapeutic applicability in Parkinson's disease has been intensely investigated. In recent years, there have been major advances in the analysis of GDNF signaling pathways in peripheral neurons and embryonic dopamine mesencephalic cells. However, the actual physiological role of GDNF in maintaining catecholaminergic central neurons during adulthood is only starting to be unraveled, and the mechanisms whereby GDNF protects central brain neurons are poorly known. In this study, we review the current knowledge of GDNF expression, signaling, and function in adult brain, with special emphasis on the genetic animal models with deficiency in the GDNF-dependent pathways. © 2011 Society for Endocrinology.
Publisher version (URL)http://doi.org/10.1530/JME-10-0125
Identifiersissn: 0952-5041
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