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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2016, Article ID 6097107, 11 pages
Review Article

Neuroprotective Transcription Factors in Animal Models of Parkinson Disease

Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Biology (CIRB), Labex Memolife, CNRS UMR 7241, INSERM U1050, Collège de France, 11 place Marcelin Berthelot, 75231 Paris Cedex 05, France

Received 7 May 2015; Revised 10 July 2015; Accepted 14 July 2015

Academic Editor: Rosanna Parlato

Copyright © 2016 François-Xavier Blaudin de Thé et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A number of transcription factors, including En1/2, Foxa1/2, Lmx1a/b, Nurr1, Otx2, and Pitx3, with key roles in midbrain dopaminergic (mDA) neuron development, also regulate adult mDA neuron survival and physiology. Mouse models with targeted disruption of some of these genes display several features reminiscent of Parkinson disease (PD), in particular the selective and progressive loss of mDA neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc). The characterization of these animal models has provided valuable insights into various mechanisms of PD pathogenesis. Therefore, the dissection of the mechanisms and survival signalling pathways engaged by these transcription factors to protect mDA neuron from degeneration can suggest novel therapeutic strategies. The work on En1/2-mediated neuroprotection also highlights the potential of protein transduction technology for neuroprotective approaches in PD.