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Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Dec 6;19(12). pii: E3911. doi: 10.3390/ijms19123911.

Circadian Rhythm Abnormalities in Parkinson's Disease from Humans to Flies and Back.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, University of Padova, 35131 Padova, Italy. federica.delazzari@phd.unipd.it.
2
Department of Biology, University of Padova, 35131 Padova, Italy. marco.bisaglia@unipd.it.
3
Department of Biology, University of Padova, 35131 Padova, Italy. mauroagostino.zordan@unipd.it.
4
Cognitive Neuroscience Center, University of Padova, 35100 Padova, Italy. mauroagostino.zordan@unipd.it.
5
Department of Biology, University of Padova, 35131 Padova, Italy. federica.sandrelli@unipd.it.

Abstract

Clinical and research studies have suggested a link between Parkinson's disease (PD) and alterations in the circadian clock. Drosophila melanogaster may represent a useful model to study the relationship between the circadian clock and PD. Apart from the conservation of many genes, cellular mechanisms, signaling pathways, and neuronal processes, Drosophila shows an organized central nervous system and well-characterized complex behavioral phenotypes. In fact, Drosophila has been successfully used in the dissection of the circadian system and as a model for neurodegenerative disorders, including PD. Here, we describe the fly circadian and dopaminergic systems and report recent studies which indicate the presence of circadian abnormalities in some fly PD genetic models. We discuss the use of Drosophila to investigate whether, in adults, the disruption of the circadian system might be causative of brain neurodegeneration. We also consider approaches using Drosophila, which might provide new information on the link between PD and the circadian clock. As a corollary, since PD develops its symptomatology over a large part of the organism's lifespan and given the relatively short lifespan of fruit flies, we suggest that genetic models of PD could be used to perform lifelong screens for drug-modulators of general and/or circadian-related PD traits.

KEYWORDS:

Drosophila; PD models; Parkison’s disease; circadian clock; dj-1; dopaminergic system

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