We hypothesize that the inflammatory protein galectin-3 contributes to PD progression.
We will use pre-clinical models that lack galectin-3 to evaluate inflammation, neuronal cell death and behavior. First, we will test the effect of a toxin called MPTP to produce PD pathology. Next, we will inject a special virus to make brain cells produce the protein alpha-synuclein.
Impact on Diagnosis/Treatment of Parkinson's Disease:
This research project will show us how to reduce inflammation in the brain and protect cells by targeting galectin-3 in pre-clinical models of PD, thereby increasing the chance to move toward clinical trials.
Next Steps for Development:
The next step will be to use specific inhibitors of galectin-3 to test if they are effective as neuroprotective treatments in pre-clinical models of PD.