Delivery of L-dopa and GDNF in Animal Models of Parkinson’s Disease Via Recombinant Adeo-Associated Virus Mediated Gene

Anders Bjorklund, M.D.
University of Lund, Wallenberg Neuroscience Center

Dr. Anders Bjorklund's group at the University of Lund has successfully injected the gene for glial cell line-derived neurotropic factor (GDNF) into rats earlier made parkinsonian and improved their motor abilities. They conslusively showed that the viral vector used was able to carry the gene into the forebrains of the animals, the part of the brain that is the target area for dopaminergic (DA) cells. They later found that part of the DA pathway near the forebrain had actually regrown. This work is but another step on the way to gene therapy for neurodegenerative disorders.

Adenosine is a product of ATP (energy) from the brain's mitochondria. It is considered a neuromodulator that influences striatal function. In dopamine(DA)-depleted rodents, drugs that inhibit motor stimulation (produced when they are dosed with DA-agonists) are those that act on the adenosine receptors; thus adenosine receptor antagonistic drugs would be expected to do the opposite; exert antiparkinson effects.