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BMC Neurol. 2010 Oct 19;10:95. doi: 10.1186/1471-2377-10-95.

Oxidative stress in skin fibroblasts cultures from patients with Parkinson's disease.

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Departamento de Bioquímica-Investigación, Hospital Universitario Doce de Octubre, Madrid, Spain.



In the substantia nigra of Parkinson's disease (PD) patients, increased lipid peroxidation, decreased activities of the mitochondrial complex I of the respiratory chain, catalase and glutathione-peroxidase, and decreased levels of reduced glutathione have been reported. These observations suggest that oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction play a role in the neurodegeneration in PD. We assessed enzymatic activities of respiratory chain and other enzymes involved in oxidative processes in skin fibroblasts cultures of patients with PD.


We studied respiratory chain enzyme activities, activities of total, Cu/Zn- and Mn-superoxide-dismutase, gluthatione-peroxidase and catalase, and coenzyme Q10 levels in skin fibroblasts cultures from 20 Parkinson's disease (PD) patients and 19 age- and sex- matched healthy controls.


When compared with controls, PD patients showed significantly lower specific activities for complex V (both corrected by citrate synthase activity and protein concentrations). Oxidized, reduced and total coenzyme Q10 levels (both corrected by citrate synthase and protein concentrations), and activities of total, Cu/Zn- and Mn-superoxide-dismutase, gluthatione-peroxidase and catalase, did not differ significantly between PD-patients and control groups. Values for enzyme activities in the PD group did not correlate with age at onset, duration, scores of the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating scales and Hoehn-Yahr staging.


The main result of this study was the decreased activity of complex V in PD patients. This complex synthesizes ATP from ADP using an electrochemical gradient generated by complexes I-IV. These results suggest decreased energetic metabolism in fibroblasts of patients with PD.

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