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An Insight into the Molecular Mechanism of Mitochondrial Toxicant-induced Neuronal Apoptosis in Parkinson’s Disease

[ Vol. 23 , Issue. 1 ]


Subhashini Brahadeeswaran, Mohammad Lateef and Latchoumycandane Calivarathan*   Pages 63 - 75 ( 13 )


Parkinson’s disease (PD) is one of the most common progressive neurodegenerative disorders affecting approximately 1% of the world’s population at the age of 50 and above. Majority of PD cases are sporadic and show symptoms after the age of 60 and above. At that time, most of the dopaminergic neurons in the region of substantia nigra pars compacta have been degenerated. Although in past decades, discoveries of genetic mutations linked to PD have significantly impacted our current understanding of the pathogenesis of this devastating disorder, it is likely that the environment also plays a critical role in the etiology of sporadic PD. Recent epidemiological and experimental studies indicate that exposure to environmental agents, including a number of agricultural and industrial chemicals, may contribute to the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative disorders, including PD. Furthermore, there is a strong correlation between mitochondrial dysfunction and several forms of neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Huntington’s disease (HD), Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and PD. Interestingly, substantia nigra of patients with PD has been shown to have a mild deficiency in mitochondrial respiratory electron transport chain NADH dehydrogenase (Complex I) activity. This review discusses the role of mitochondrial toxicants in the selective degeneration of dopaminergic neurons targeting the electron transport system that leads to Parkinsonism.


Apoptosis, electron transport chain, environmental contaminants, mitochondria, neurodegeneration, Parkinson’s disease.


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