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Kaspar Russ


 

 

 

Kaspar Russ

  • B.A.

Department: Pacific Parkinson's Research Center
Supervisor: Dr. Doudet
E-mail: kruss1 at interchange.ubc.ca
Office phone: 604-822-1770

Research Description:

The project will use human retinal epithelial cells (hRPE) as apossible treatment for people suffering from Parkinson's Disease (PD). Itwill investigate the mechanism of action of how hRPE cells, whentransplanted into the striatum for rats, can help alleviate the symptoms ofPD. Currently, Levodopa (L-dopa) is known to be produced by the hRPE cells;this is the basis for their hypothesized mechanism of action. Though in siturelease of L-dopa undoubtedly plays a role in decreasing the clinicalsymptoms, our laboratory has produced data suggesting that alternatemechanisms may also play a important part in the clinical efficacy of thecell implants. For example, in their native environment, hRPE cells areknown to produce a variety of trophic factors like pigment-derivedepithelial factor. In a 6-OHDA rat model of PD, the project will test thehypothesis that hRPE cells either produce factors which have beneficialeffects on dopamine neurons or stimulate the production by the host of endogenous trophic factors, using ELISA and/orimmunohistochemistry methods. The goal is to have a better understanding ofhow hRPE cells function when transplanted into the brain in order to improvethis promising therapy.

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