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Morphological and pharmacological analyses of the cannabinoid system in the basal ganglia: implications in Parkinson's Disease models

Grant number: 11/51971-0
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: April 01, 2012 - March 31, 2014
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Physiology - Physiology of Organs and Systems
Principal Investigator:Andréa da Silva Torrão
Grantee:Andréa da Silva Torrão
Host Institution: Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas (ICB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Cannabinoid system seems to be involved in modulatory functions of plasticity, neurodegeneration, and neuroprotection processes. Parkinson's disease (PD), characterized by dopaminergic neurons degeneration of the basal ganglia with motor deficiency, has been target of many studies in the context of a putative neuroprotector role of the cannabinoid system. However, literature data are conflicting, and this role seems to depend on factors such as animal model analyzed, type and severity of the degeneration, and cellular mechanisms involved, as well as the cannabinoid agents employed. The aim of this study is to analyze the role of cannabinoi system in experimental models of PD, both in vivo and in vitro, evaluating the effects of cannabinoids treatment. Unilateral intrastriatal injection of the 6-hidroxi-dopamine (6-OHDA) neurotoxin in rats and the exposition of a neural cell line differentiated into dopaminergic neurons to 6-OHDA, hydrogen peroxide, or to lipopolysaccharide (LPS), will be performed. Animals and cell line will be treated with cannabinoid agonist and antagonist, and histological/chemical, expression of neuronal elements markers, neuronal death, and cellular mechanisms involved in neurodegenerative processes will be evaluated. This study can contributes with important information's about the neurodegenerative processes as well as about the cannabinoid system. (AU)

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