Mouse Gene Accounts for Blood Abnormalities As Well As Parkinson's Symptoms
Mice found in a previous study to develop a Parkinson's-like deterioration when deprived of a gene for iron metabolism were also found to develop anemia and signs of a rare skin condition, according to a follow up study by researchers at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health.
The researchers believe that the gene may play a role in human diseases and are now searching for people with Parkinson's disease-like symptoms and anemia that has certain characteristics.
"This study provides additional clues that may contribute to our understanding of neurodegenerative disorders that appear to involve iron metabolism," said Duane Alexander, M.D., Director of the NICHD.
The study was published online in the journal "Blood."
To conduct the study, the researchers developed mice lacking the gene that makes iron regulatory protein 2 (IRP), which helps to regulate the amount of iron in cells, explained the study's senior author, Tracey A. Rouault, M.D., of NICHD's Section on Human Iron Metabolism.