The Dutch ZonMW has awarded EUR 750,000 to a research project into the exact role of LRRK2 in the development of Parkinson's disease. Prof. Arjan Kortholt (GBB) and
Prof. Amalia Dolga (GRIP) of the University of Groningen, and Prof. Erik Boddeke of the University Medical Center Groningen have combined their expertise in this study.
An emerging hypothesis in Parkinson’s disease points towards a critical role of inflammation and cell metabolism in specific brain cells such as microglia and neurons. Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) is considered as an essential player in PD pathogenesis, however the exact role of LRRK2 in immune cells is still not well understood.
In their research project, ‘How LRRK2 affect neuron-microglia communication in Parkinson’s disease’, Dolga, Kortholt and Boddeke are joining forces and their expertise. They will characterize the complex activation mechanism, localization and function of LRRK2 in immunity and cell metabolism in Parkinson’s Disease. They will develop and use a set of unique tools to get detailed insight in the function of LRRK2 in iPSC-derived brain cells (microglia and neurons). This innovative science will expand the understanding of Parkinson’s Disease’s pathology, will generate the proof of principle of novel compound targeting LRRK2 and will provide a novel model for testing future therapies.
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