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Neurosci Bull. 2006 Mar;22(2):124-8.

C. elegans as a model system for Parkinson disease.

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State Key Laboratory of Medical Genomics, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine; Institute of Health Sciences, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences- Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200031,China; E-mail:;


Parkinson disease (PD) is characterized by the selective loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. Although investigation in mammalian animal models of PD has enhanced our understanding of PD, the complexity of the mammalian nervous system and our inability to visualize DA neurons in vivo restricts the advances in elucidating the molecular mechanisms of PD. Conservation between C. elegans and mammals in genomic, biosynthetic and metabolic pathways as well as the advantages of observing DA neurons morphology in vivo and the ease of transgenic and genetic manipulation make C. elegans an excellent model organism for PD.

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