Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by a massive loss of dopaminergic neurons. Despite big efforts, there is no effective cure yet. One of the major problems is the lack of in vitro human models that can be used for mechanistic studies of the disease and drug testing. A human neuroblastoma cell line has been used as a dopaminergic neuronal model for Parkinson's disease. Here, this human neuroblastoma cell line is compared in undifferentiated and retinoic acid differentiated conditions through transcriptomic analysis of apoptosis after treatment with MPP+ and the expression of tyrosine hydroxylase. Immune-based techniques showed that the levels of tyrosine hydroxylase have different dynamics in undifferentiated and differentiated cells, where tyrosine hydroxylase increases progressively along with neuritic outgrowth. Moreover, the concentration of MPP+ to induce cytotoxicity in both groups was different, being two times higher in differentiated cells. Low-dose MPP+ treatment increased the expression of apoptosis-related markers in undifferentiated cells with no significance in the differentiated group. In this study, retinoic acid differentiated human neuroblastoma cells are proposed as an accessible and easy-to-use Parkinson's in vitro model to study pathological mechanisms and perform drug testing.
Differential expression of tyrosine hydroxylase protein and apoptosis-related genes in differentiated and undifferentiated SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells treated with MPP+
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