Numerous studies have highlighted a potential role of neuroinflammation in Parkinson’s disease whereby the immune cells of the brain called microglia may produce inflammatory factors that are toxic to dopamine neurons. Cannabinoid type-2 receptors (CB2) are largely found on activated microglia and are increased in people with and models of Parkinson’s disease. This project aims to investigate the therapeutic potential of a novel CB2 modulator.
We hypothesize that modulation of CB2 will alter the inflammatory environment and mitigate inflammation-induced cell death.
To address this question, we will conduct detailed analysis to determine the extent of neuroprotection provided by a novel drug targeting cannabinoid type 2 receptors in a model of Parkinson’s disease. We will also use cell culture techniques to investigate the microglial response to understand the impact of inflammation on neurons after CB2 modulation.
Impact on Diagnosis/Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease:
This project has potential to identify a disease-modifying treatment for Parkinson’s disease.
Next Steps for Development:
If successful, this study will open the door to further evaluate the safety and efficacy of this novel CB2 modulator in other pre-clinical models as a next step toward the clinic.
This project was selected for a Stern Discovery Award with support from the former Michael Stern Parkinson's Research Foundation, which merged with The Michael J. Fox Foundation in 2015.