PARKIN-DEFICIENT MICE ARE A BAD MODEL OF PARKINSONISM
Perez and Palmiter decided to test an accepted experimental model of Parkinsonís disease gaining surprising results (Parkin-deficient mice are not a robust model of parkinsonism. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 10.1073/pnas.0409598102 Published online before print January 2005).
Mutations in the human parkin gene cause autosomal recessive juvenile parkinsonism, a heritable form of Parkinsonís disease.
To determine whether mutations in the mouse parkin gene (Park2) also result in a parkinsonian phenotype, the authors generated mice with a targeted deletion of parkin exon 2.
The research shows that the behavioural profile of Parkin-deficient mice was strikingly similar to that of control mice, and most differences were not reproducible by using co-isogenic mice. Moreover, catecholamine levels in the striatum, olfactory bulb, and spinal cord of Parkin-deficient mice were normal.
In contrast to previous studies using independently generated Parkin-deficient mice, Perez and Palmiter found no evidence for nigrostriatal, cognitive, or noradrenergic dysfunction.