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Parkinson's Disease In Vitro Models

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a slowly progressive neurodegenerative disease clinically characterized by progressive motor impairment in affected people. Synaptic and axonal degeneration is followed by loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra leads to reduced levels of dopamine in the nigrostriatal circuitry. Besides dopaminergic cell loss, intracellular formation of Lewy bodies, consisting predominantly of aggregated alpha-synuclein, has been suggested to be crucial in the pathogenesis of this disease.

PD is a complex, multifactorial disease in which different factors concur to the pathogenic process. In vitro models (established cell lines, primary cell cultures or lesion models) offer the advantage of a controlled environment favorable for exploring single pathogenic mechanisms and the genes/proteins involved.

On the cellular level, research in PD focuses on:

  • Neurotoxicity (MPP+, 6-OHDA, BSO,…)
  • Excitotoxicity (NMDA, glutamate,…)
  • Mitochondrial dysfunction
  • Defects in protein degradation

Scantox offers several cellular solutions to model PD pathology in vitro:

animal models

Scantox is highly experienced in generating, characterizing, and maintaining transgenic disease models and using them for drug testing projects for more than 20 years.

behavioral testing

Scantox provides a wide range of behavioral tests for various indications. Most tests are evaluated using rater-independent digital animal tracking systems.

histology services

Scantox offers a full set of histology services ranging from collection of tissue samples to delivering study reports that contain all experimental procedures and their outcome.


Scantox Department of Translational Medicine offers a selection of molecular biological methods for the investigation of various diseases. The unit supports in vitro and in vivo studies performed at Scantox.