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The Use of Optogenetic and DREADDs Techniques: Applications  to the Behavioral Pathology in Parkinson’s Disease (Review)

The Use of Optogenetic and DREADDs Techniques: Applications to the Behavioral Pathology in Parkinson’s Disease (Review)

Novikov N.I., Brazhnik E.S., Kichigina V.F.
Key words: Parkinson’s disease; movement disorders; basal ganglia; dopamine; light-sensitive ion channels; modified G-protein-coupled receptors.
2019, volume 11, issue 2, page 150.

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Recent advances in genetics have led to the development of novel optogenetic and chemogenetic tools that allow selective and remote interrogation of neural circuits using light-sensitive opsins and engineered G-protein-coupled receptors activated by inert drug-like small molecules. These novel techniques have been rapidly applied to many aspects of neuroscience, including research on learning and memory, decision making, and goal-directed behavior. By using specific light-sensitive opsins and DREADDs (designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs) to monitor the electrophysiological, biochemical, and behavioral outputs of specific neuronal types, the links between brain activity and behavior can be better evaluated. Additionally, optogenetics and DREADDs are beneficial in studying the pathogenesis of neurological conditions, such as depression, anxiety, pain, drug addiction, as well as neurodegenerative diseases, and may ultimately have therapeutic potential.

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