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J Neurosci. 2006 Nov 8;26(45):11644-51.

Nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurodegeneration in the weaver mouse is mediated via neuroinflammation and alleviated by minocycline administration.

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  • 1Buck Institute for Age Research, Novato, California 94945, USA.


The murine mutant weaver (gene symbol, wv) mouse, which carries a mutation in the gene encoding the G-protein inwardly rectifying potassium channel Girk2, exhibits a diverse range of defects as a result of postnatal cell death in several different brain neuron subtypes. Loss of dopaminergic nigrostriatal neurons in the weaver, unlike cerebellar granule neuronal loss, is via a noncaspase-mediated mechanism. Here, we present data demonstrating that degeneration of midbrain dopaminergic neurons in weaver is mediated via neuroinflammation. Furthermore, in vivo administration of the anti-inflammatory agent minocycline attenuates nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurodegeneration. This has novel implications for the use of the weaver mouse as a model for Parkinson's disease, which has been associated with increased neuroinflammation.

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