Proteasome inhibitor model of Parkinson's disease in mice is confounded by neurotoxicity of the ethanol vehicle

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Defects in the ubiquitin-proteasome system have been implicated in Parkinson's Disease (PD). Recently, a rat model of PD was developed using a synthetic proteasome inhibitor (PSI), (Z-lle-Glu(OtBu)-Ala-Leu-al). We attempted to transfer this model to mouse studies, where genetics can be more readily investigated due to the availability of genetically modified mice. We treated C57BL/6 (B6) mice with six intraperitoneal injections of 6 mg/kg PSI in 50 μl of 70% ethanol over a 2-week-period. We found significant decreases in nigrostriatal dopamine in PSI-treated mice compared with saline-treated mice. However, we observed similar decreases in the ethanol-treated vehicle control group. Administration of ethanol alone led to significant long-term alterations in dopamine levels. Ethanol significantly eclipses the effects of PSI in the dopamine system, and therefore is a confounding vehicle for this model. © 2006 Movement Disorder Society

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