Researchers suggest a new approach to improve neuron grafts in people suffering from Parkinson’s disease

Martin LévesqueTreating people affected by Parkinson’s disease by grafting healthy neurons is an attractive idea which has not yet given the anticipated results up until now.  Even if grafted neurons survive, they are not able to recreate the dopaminergic neuron circuits that are essential for normal brain function.  An international team led by Martin Lévesque, professor at Université Laval and researcher at the CERVO Brain Research Centre, might have figured out why.  In a recent edition of Nature Communications, the researchers propose a “recipe” to produce neurons that could reconstitute the neuron circuits that are destroyed by Parkinson’s disease.

Read more about this research (in French) in Le Fil , the Université Laval Campus newspaper.

Original research article in Nature Communications (open):

Chabrat A, Brisson G, Doucet-Beaupré H, Salesse C, Schaan Profes M, Dovonou A, Akitegetse C, Charest J, Lemstra S, Côté D, Pasterkamp RJ, Abrudan MI, Metzakopian E, Ang SL, Lévesque M. Transcriptional repression of Plxnc1 by Lmx1a  and Lmx1b directs topographic dopaminergic circuit formation. Nat Commun. 2017 Oct 16;8(1):933. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-01042-0.