Abstract: Planaria are the simplest organisms with bilateral symmetry and a central nervous system (CNS) with cephalization; therefore, they could be useful as model organisms to investigate mechanistic aspects of parkinsonism and to screen potential therapeutic agents. Taking advantage of the organism’s anti-tropism towards light, we measured a significantly reduced locomotor velocity in planaria after exposure to 3-iodo-L-tyrosine, an inhibitor of tyrosine hydroxylase that is an enzyme catalyzing the first and rate-limiting step in the biosynthesis of catecholamines. A simple semi-automatic assay using videotaped experiments and subsequent evaluation by tracking software was also implemented to increase throughput. The dopaminergic regulation of locomotor velocity was confirmed by bromocriptine, a drug whose mechanisms of action to treat Parkinson’s disease is believed to be through the stimulation of nerves that control movement.
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Prokai, D.; Nguyen, T.; Kamrowski, K.; Chandra, A.; Talamantes, T.; Baxter, L.R.; Prokai, L. An Exploratory Evaluation of Tyrosine Hydroxylase Inhibition in Planaria as a Model for Parkinsonism. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 23289-23296.
Prokai D, Nguyen T, Kamrowski K, Chandra A, Talamantes T, Baxter LR, Prokai L. An Exploratory Evaluation of Tyrosine Hydroxylase Inhibition in Planaria as a Model for Parkinsonism. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2013; 14(12):23289-23296.
Prokai, David; Nguyen, Thinh; Kamrowski, Kurt; Chandra, Ashwin; Talamantes, Tatjana; Baxter, Lewis R.; Prokai, Laszlo. 2013. "An Exploratory Evaluation of Tyrosine Hydroxylase Inhibition in Planaria as a Model for Parkinsonism." Int. J. Mol. Sci. 14, no. 12: 23289-23296.