Treating Parkinson's disease by astrocyte reprogramming: Progress and challenges.
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Parkinson's disease (PD), the second most prevalent neurodegenerative disorder, is typified by both motor and nonmotor symptoms. The current medications provide symptomatic relief but do not stimulate the production of new dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. Astrocyte reprogramming has recently received much attention as an avenue for increasing functional dopaminergic neurons in the mouse PD brain. By targeting a microRNA (miRNA) loop, astrocytes in the mouse brain could be reprogrammed into functional dopaminergic neurons. Such in vivo astrocyte reprogramming in the mouse model of PD has successfully added new dopaminergic neurons to the substantia nigra and increased dopamine levels associated with axonal projections into the striatum. This review deliberates the astrocyte reprogramming methods using specific transcription factors and mRNAs and the progress in generating dopaminergic neurons in vivo. In addition, the translational potential, challenges, and potential risks of astrocyte reprogramming for an enduring alleviation of parkinsonian symptoms are conferred.
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Wei, Zhuang-Yao D||Shetty, Ashok K