Genetic animal models for evaluating the role of autophagy in etiopathogenesis of Parkinson disease

M. Lenard Lachenmayer, Zhenyu Yue

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Parkinson disease (PD) is the most common neurodegenerative movement disorder and is characterized pathologically by the formation of ubiquitin and SNCA/α-synuclein-containing inclusions (Lewy bodies), dystrophic midbrain dopaminergic (DAergic) terminals, and degeneration of midbrain DAergic neurons. The vast majority of PD occurs sporadically, while approximately 5% of all PD cases are inherited. Genetic mutations of a few genes have been identified as causes of familiar PD, i.e., mutations in SNCA, PARK2/parkin, UCHL1, PARK7/DJ1, PINK1 and LRRK2, leading to DAergic cell death, but variable pathological changes. The evidence supports the hypothesis that several pathogenic mechanisms are likely involved at initial stages of the disease, and eventually they merge to cause parkinsonism. The current challenge facing PD research is to unravel the components in these pathways that contribute to the pathogenesis of PD. Accumulating evidence has implicated dysfunctional autophagy, a regulated lysosomal pathway with a capacity for clearing protein aggregates and cellular organelles, as one of the pathogenic systems contributing to the development of idiopathic PD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1837-1838
Number of pages2
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2012


  • Alpha-synuclein
  • Atg7
  • Autophagy
  • Dopamine
  • LRRK2
  • Motor deficits
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Parkinson disease


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