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Exp Neurol. 2013 Dec;250:94-103. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2013.09.024. Epub 2013 Oct 2.

Modeling neurodegenerative diseases in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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Institute of Health Sciences, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200025, P.R. China.


Neurodegenerative diseases which include Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Huntington disease (HD), and others are becoming an increasing threat to human health worldwide. The degeneration and death of certain specific groups of neurons are the hallmarks of these diseases. Despite the research progress in identification of several disease-related genes, the mechanisms underlying the neurodegeneration in these diseases remain unclear. Given the molecular conservation in neuronal signaling between Caenorhabditis elegans and vertebrates, an increasing number of research scientists have used the nematode to study this group of diseases. This review paper will focus on the model system that has been established in C. elegans to investigate the pathogenetic roles of those reported disease-related genes in AD, PD, ALS, HD and others. The progress in C. elegans provides useful information of the genetic interactions and molecular pathways that are critical in the disease process, and may help better our understanding of the disease mechanisms and search for new therapeutics for these devastating diseases.


Alzheimer's disease (AD); Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); Caenorhabditis elegans; Huntington's disease (HD); Model organism; Neurodegeneration; Parkinson's disease (PD)

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