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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2015, Article ID 940131, 8 pages
Review Article

Oxidative Stress and Protein Quality Control Systems in the Aged Canine Brain as a Model for Human Neurodegenerative Disorders

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Teramo, 64100 Teramo, Italy

Received 17 December 2014; Accepted 29 April 2015

Academic Editor: Javier Egea

Copyright © 2015 Mariarita Romanucci and Leonardo Della Salda. 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.


Aged dogs are considered the most suitable spontaneous animal model for studying normal aging and neurodegenerative diseases. Elderly canines naturally develop cognitive dysfunction and neuropathological hallmarks similar to those seen in humans, especially Alzheimer’s disease-like pathology. Pet dogs also share similar living conditions and diets to humans. Oxidative damage accumulates in the canine brain during aging, making dogs a valid model for translational antioxidant treatment/prevention studies. Evidence suggests the presence of detective protein quality control systems, involving ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) and Heat Shock Proteins (HSPs), in the aged canine brain. Further studies on the canine model are needed to clarify the role of age-related changes in UPS activity and HSP expression in neurodegeneration in order to design novel treatment strategies, such as HSP-based therapies, aimed at improving chaperone defences against proteotoxic stress affecting brain during aging.