New animal study shows promise for development of Parkinson disease drug

Jun 09, 2011

Few treatments for Parkinson disease restore function for extended periods. In a new study published today in the inaugural issue issue of the Journal of Parkinson's Disease, an international group of researchers report that platelet-derived growth factor-BB (PDGF-BB) restored function in rodents and shows promise as a clinical candidate drug for treatment of Parkinson disease.

Parkinson disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder. It is characterized by loss of neurons from the mid-brain which use the neurotransmitter dopamine to help control voluntary movements. Investigators from NeuroNova AB, Stockholm, Sweden, the Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, The Parkinson's Institute, Sunnyvale, California, USA, and Motac Neuroscience Ltd, Manchester, UK, found that behavioral, tissue, and biochemical changes in experimental models of Parkinson disease in rodents could be counteracted by infusion of PDGF-BB. This could offer an alternative strategy to restore function in Parkinson disease.

"In animal models of nigrostriatal injury, a 2 weeks' treatment with platelet-derived growth factor-BB resulted in long-lasting restoration of striatal dopamine transporter binding sites and expression of nigral tyrosine hydroxylase," commented Anders Haegerstrand MD PhD, Chief Scientific Officer, NeuroNova AB, Stockholm, Sweden."It also normalized amphetamine-induced rotational behavior in 6-hydroxydopamine lesioned rats. Platelet-derived growth factor-BB promoted proliferation of neural progenitor cells in the subventricular zone. The effects on dopaminergic neurons and functional recovery could be blocked by coinfusion with a proliferation inhibitor, indicating a link between the proliferative and anti-parkinsonian effects. Based on the current data, we consider platelet-derived growth factor-BB a clinical candidate drug for treatment of Parkinson's disease."

The study demonstrated for the first time a functional relevance of a PDGF-induced cell proliferation in a model of CNS disease. In the rats studied, normalization of behavior after PDGF-BB treatment lasted for 10 weeks. PDGF-BB is already in clinical trial at NeuroNova.

Source: News Release
ISO Press
June 9, 2011