What's Happening

WNLO Scholars Provide New Clues to the Pathogenesis of Parkinson's Disease

WNLO Scholars Provide New Clues to the Pathogenesis of Parkinson's Disease
In all neurodegenerative diseases, Parkinson's disease is the second most harmful one only after Alzheimer's disease. The pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease is still unclear and the ideal cure hasn’t been found. The typical clinical symptoms of Parkinson's disease are motor dysfunction and cognitive disorder, especially the damages on the motor skill learning and memory ability. It’s not yet verified that if this kind of disorders is caused by anomalous changes of the plasticity of motor cortex.

On August 26, written by Xu TongHui, the professor of Biomedical Photonics Functional Laboratory in WNLO, and Ding Jun, the professor of Stanford University, the paper Dynamic Rewiring of Neural Circuits in the Motor Cortex in Mouse Models of Parkinson’s disease was published on Nature Neuroscience. The paper was also presented as a highlight work with an introductory article in column News and Views written by Professor Paolo Calabresi and Doctor Di Filippo, authorities in the field of Parkinson's disease research. The article pointed out that “A laudable aspect of the work by Guo et al. is its study of spine plasticity from both the functional and structural point of view, outside the basal ganglia, and its insight into the dynamic features of spines plasticity in the motor cortex of PD models”. Guo LiLi and Xiong Huan, two PhD candidates of Biomedical Engineering in HUST since 2011, are both first authors of the paper and PhD candidates Cui YuTing and Shu Yu participated in this work as well.

In their study, using Two-photon neural circuit in vivo imaging technology, Xu TongHui and his group proved the abnormality in the plasticity of the Parkinson's disease mice’s brain motor cortex neural circuits, discovered the massive lost and formation of the synapses----the basic structural units to transmit neural signal, and found out that this two-way change was mediated by different signal pathways of neurotransmitter dopamine. Using electrophysiological recording technique, Ding Jun and his group discovered the dysfunction of the Parkinson's disease mice’s brain motor cortex. The result demonstrated the abnormal changes in the structure and function of Parkinson animal modles’ brains and the correspondence between these changes.

 The researchers also carried out the behavior experiments and made a preliminary demonstration on the mechanism of motor skill learning and memory impairment in Parkinson's disease. These results provide not only new clues to the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease but also the direct and potent evidence for using motor cortex as a new target spot to treat this disease.

This work is financed by NSFC (Natural Science Foundation of China), NSFI (National Science Foundation of Innovation), National Major Scientific Instruments and Equipment Development Projects, Director Fund of Laboratory for Optoelectronics, and School Fund of HUST ( International Technology Cooperation Special Project).