The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience

Deficiency in Neuronal TGF-β Signaling Leads to Nigrostriatal Degeneration and Activation of TGF-β Signaling Protects against MPTP Neurotoxicity in Mice.

PMID 28363982


Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) plays an important role in the development and maintenance of embryonic dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the midbrain. To study the function of TGF-β signaling in the adult nigrostriatal system, we generated transgenic mice with reduced TGF-β signaling in mature neurons. These mice display age-related motor deficits and degeneration of the nigrostriatal system. Increasing TGF-β signaling in the substantia nigra through adeno-associated virus expressing a constitutively active type I receptor significantly reduces 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine-induced dopaminergic neurodegeneration and motor deficits. These results suggest that TGF-β signaling is critical for adult DA neuron survival and that modulating this signaling pathway has therapeutic potential in Parkinson disease.