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J Neurochem. 2011 Feb;116(3):334-41. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2010.07112.x. Epub 2010 Dec 22.

A neuroprotective role for angiogenin in models of Parkinson's disease.

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  • 1Department of Neurobiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA.


We previously observed marked down-regulation of the mRNA for angiogenin, a potent inducer of neovascularization, in a mouse model of Parkinson's disease (PD) based on over-expression of alpha-synuclein. Angiogenin has also been recently implicated in the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In this study, we confirmed that mouse angiogenin-1 protein is dramatically reduced in this transgenic alpha-synuclein mouse model of PD, and examined the effect of angiogenin in cellular models of PD. We found that endogenous angiogenin is present in two dopamine-producing neuroblastoma cell lines, SH-SY5Y and M17, and that exogenous angiogenin is taken up by these cells and leads to phosphorylation of Akt. Applied angiogenin protects against the cell death induced by the neurotoxins 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium and rotenone and reduces the activation of caspase 3. Together our data supports the importance of angiogenin in protecting against dopaminergic neuronal cell death and suggests its potential as a therapy for PD.

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