X-linked IAP protein is a potent inhibitor of cell death. Here, we describe a novel transgenic mouse in which the human XIAP gene is expressed under the control of the neuron-specific enolase promoter (NSE-xiap). We demonstrate that nigrostriatal dopamine neurons of NSE-xiap mice were resistant to the damaging effects of the dopaminergic neurotoxin MPTP. MPTP-induced reduction of striatal dopamine metabolism was also attenuated in NSE-xiap mice. Furthermore, NSE-xiap mice treated with MPTP did not exhibit deficits in exploratory behaviour in an open-field test. Taken together, these findings suggest that strategies to enhance neuronal expression of XIAP may provide therapeutic benefit for the treatment of neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease.

Neurobiology of Disease

Crocker, S.J. (S. J.), Liston, P. (P.), Anisman, H, Lee, C.J. (C. J.), Smith, P, Earl, N. (N.), … Robertson, G.S. (G. S.). (2003). Attenuation of MPTP-induced neurotoxicity and behavioural impairment in NSE-XIAP transgenic mice. Neurobiology of Disease, 12(2), 150–161. doi:10.1016/S0969-9961(02)00020-7