The discovery, published in, can make this molecule a new cell target for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

One of the key factors in the functional deterioration that characterizes Parkinson's is the loss of dopaminergic neurons - the neurons whose primary neurotransmitter is dopamine - and the strong inflammatory activity that accompanies this loss. Spanish scientists have gone to work to find a solution to this problem and it seems that they have found it.

This is published by 'PloS One', which states that a team of researchers from the UAM, led by Dr. Ana Pérez-Castillo, and the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) have designed and synthesized a molecule (called S14) that, by inhibiting a protein (phosphodiesterase 7 (PDE7)), it protects dopaminergic neurons, also decreasing neuroinflammation, which consequently confers protection against Parkinson's disease.

In rat and human cells, the researchers found that the inhibition of PDE7 produced a total protection of neurons against damage inflicted by different cytotoxic agents. The work also analyzed the signaling pathways through which compound S14 exerts its action. In addition to testing the neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effect of this compound in animals, the authors demonstrated that, by causing 'in vivo' brain injury in the area of ​​the brain known as SNpc (where dopaminergic neurons are lost in Parkinson's), treated animals with S14 they improved the motor symptoms produced by the lesion, characteristic of this disease.

It is hoped that this finding may bear fruit in the treatment of neurodegenerative lesions.


A Conversation with Paul Greengard (November 2019).