Parkinson’s Disease in the Mouse: Valid and Invalid Models for Future Use

Jennifer A. Aeling, Winona State University
Matthew A. Weber, Winona State University

This grant(s) was awarded for the 2012-2013 academic year.


“Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder affecting approximately 1% of elderly Americans that results from progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons. Common motor symptoms of PD include resting tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia or akinesia and postural instability” (Zesiewicz et al., 2009). “Almost all patients with PD have non-motor and neuropsychiatric features, including sleep disturbances, compulsive and impulsive behaviors, autonomic dysfunction and psychosis” (Fernandez, 2012). In the years to come, as the average age increases the amount of PD patients will also increase due to the late onset of most PD cases. As the amount of PD cases caused by environmental factors decreases, the amount of genetic PD research may increase significantly. There are several different gene mutations that are believed to cause a form of inherited PD. “Mutations in leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) are the most common genetic cause of Parkinson’s disease” (Li et al., 2009). In this study we evaluated the appropriateness of the FVB/N-Tg(LRRK2*R1441G)135Cjli/J as a mouse model compared to the symptoms commonly seen in human PD LRRK2 patients and to those of the common reserpine induced model of PD.