Park, David S
University of Ottawa
Mechanisms of DJ-1 in an aging model of PD
Parkinson's disease & PD-related disorders
Aging is a critical factor in the incidence of Parkinsons disease (PD). However, the initial causes of the disease are mostly unknown. One impediment to understanding the disease has been the lack of animal models of PD. Here we propose to generate one such chronic degenerative model based upon the loss of a gene, DJ-1, known to cause rare forms of PD. We propose to examine how loss of this gene sensitizes animals to environmental toxins known to cause the same loss of neurons as in PD. We will also explore how DJ-1 loss itself may cause spontaneous death of these neurons in the live animal. These studies will provide important new insights into how PD progresses and provide new potential avenues of therapeutics.