Browsing by Subject "NEURONS-IN-VITRO"

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  • Sidorova, Yulia A.; Saarma, Mart (2020)
    Growth factors (GFs) hold considerable promise for disease modification in neurodegenerative disorders because they can protect and restore degenerating neurons and also enhance their functional activity. However, extensive efforts applied to utilize their therapeutic potential in humans have achieved limited success so far. Multiple clinical trials with GFs were performed in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients, in whom diagnostic symptoms of the disease are caused by advanced degeneration of nigrostriatal dopamine neurons (DNs), but the results of these trials are controversial. This review discusses recent developments in the field of therapeutic use of GFs, problems and obstacles related to this use, suggests the ways to overcome these issues, and alternative approaches that can be used to utilize the potential of GFs in PD management.
  • Sidorova, Yulia A.; Saarma, Mart (2020)
    Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) family ligands (GFLs) are able to promote the survival of multiple neuronal populations in the body and, therefore, hold considerable promise for disease-modifying treatments of diseases and conditions caused by neurodegeneration. Available data reveal the potential of GFLs for the therapy of Parkinson's disease, neuropathic pain and diseases caused by retinal degeneration but, also, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and, possibly, Alzheimer's disease. Despite promising data collected in preclinical models, clinical translation of GFLs is yet to be conducted. The main reasons for the limited success of GFLs clinical development are the poor pharmacological characteristics of GFL proteins, such as the inability of GFLs to cross tissue barriers, poor diffusion in tissues, biphasic dose-response and activation of several receptors in the organism in different cell types, along with ethical limitations on patients' selection in clinical trials. The development of small molecules selectively targeting particular GFL receptors with improved pharmacokinetic properties can overcome many of the difficulties and limitations associated with the clinical use of GFL proteins. The current review lists several strategies to target the GFL receptor complex with drug-like molecules, discusses their advantages, provides an overview of available chemical scaffolds and peptides able to activate GFL receptors and describes the effects of these molecules in cultured cells and animal models.