Role of autophagy in Parkinsonís disease (pp.243-264)
Authors: (Giovanni Stefanoni, Gessica Sala, Lucio Tremolizzo, Laura Brighina, Carlo Ferrarese)
Abstract: Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative movement disorder featured by the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons within the substantia nigra. Although the etiology of sporadic disease still remains unclear, the identification of the gene products involved in hereditary variants has provided critical information about the molecular physiopathology of PD. Thus, it has been shown that morphologically this disorder is characterized by accumulation of misfolded protein aggregates and aberrant organelles in the neuronal structures and that these alterations can be triggered by different factors such as mitochondrial-induced oxidative stress and/or α-synuclein-mediated cytotoxicity. Recently, a growing line of evidence indicates that dysregulation of the two major autophagic pathways, macroautophagy and chaperone mediated autophagy, can be driving mechanisms of neurodegeneration.
Aim of this chapter is to provide in-depth analysis of the experimental evidence connecting malfunction of autophagy with the PD pathogenesis.