Few treatments for Parkinson's disease (PD) restore function for extended periods. In a new study published in the inaugural issue issue of the Journal of Parkinson's Disease, an international group of researchers reports that platelet-derived growth factor-BB (PDGF-BB) restored function in rodents and shows promise as a clinical candidate drug for treatment of PD.
Parkinson's disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, affecting 1-2% of the population over the age of 65. It is characterized by loss of brain cells (neurons) from the mid-brain which use the neurotransmitter dopamine to help control voluntary movements. Investigators from NeuroNova AB, Stockholm, Sweden, the Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, The Parkinson's Institute, Sunnyvale, CA, USA, and Motac Neuroscience Ltd, Manchester, UK, found that behavioral, tissue and biochemical changes in experimental models of Parkinson's disease in rodents could be counteracted by infusion of PDGF-BB. This could offer an alternative strategy to restore function in PD.
"In animal models of nigrostriatal injury, a two weeks treatment with platelet-derived growth factor-BB resulted in long-lasting restoration of striatal dopamine transporter binding sites and expression of nigral tyrosine hydroxylase," commented Anders Haegerstrand, MD, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer, NeuroNova AB, Stockholm, Sweden."It also normalized amphetamine-induced rotational behavior in 6-hydroxydopamine lesioned rats. Platelet-derived growth factor-BB promoted proliferation of neural progenitor cells in the subventricular zone. The effects on dopaminergic neurons and functional recovery could be blocked by co-infusion with a proliferation inhibitor, indicating a link between the proliferative and anti-parkinsonian effects. Based on the current data, we consider platelet-derived growth factor-BB a clinical candidate drug for treatment of Parkinson's disease."
The study demonstrated for the first time a functional relevance of a PDGF-induced cell proliferation in a model of CNS disease. In the rats studied, normalization of behavior after PDGF-BB treatment lasted for 10 weeks. PDGF-BB is already in clinical trial at NeuroNova.
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