My laboratory is mainly involved in investigating electron microscopic/immunocytochemical changes in synapses within the brain following various drug treatment procedures or lesions of the nigrostriatal pathway, as a model for Parkinson’s disease (PD), and correlating these findings with functional/protein changes using in vivo microdialysis/westerns and motor behaviors in both rats and mice. Using a new progressive mouse model of PD, by administering increased doses of the toxin, MPTP, we have found that exposure of mice to a socially enriched environment can, after the initiation of the loss of dopamine, slow down or block the neurochemical and motor behavioral deficits due to continued treatment with MPTP. We are currently investigating the therapeutic affects of treadmill exercise in this same progressive MPTP model of PD in both young and aged mice.
Charles Meshul, Ph.D.
Role: Professor, Research Biologist and Director, Electron Microscopy Facility (VA)