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Exp Neurol. 2005 Feb;191 Suppl 1:S104-12.

Development of the dopaminergic neurons in the rodent brainstem.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom.


The loss of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the ventral midbrain is the principal cause of Parkinson's disease. The search for candidate molecules that promote the genesis and survival capacities of DA neurons is a major area of investigation and hope. A better characterization of the developmental pathways that govern the specification, differentiation, and survival of these neurons will be essential in devising therapies aimed to rescue or replace midbrain DA neurons in Parkinson's patients. In this brief review, we will discuss the major steps in the normal development of midbrain DA neurons.

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