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We aim to understand the molecular basis for locomotor impairment in aging and Parkinson's disease.  Our immediate and long-term goals are to discover molecular, pharmacological, and non-invasive (exercise, calorie restriction) approaches that can target proteins associated with motor impairment, which can reduce or eliminate locomotor impairment.

Latest News:
May 16, 2024
New publication in Frontiers in Neuroscience
Dr. Isabel Soto is first author on the latest publication from our lab looking at the rat genetic PD model, Pink1 knockout, to characterize cognitive deficits in a methodology more aligned with human-based assessments.  Her findings show that Pink1 knockout rats have impairment in maze navigation.  This indicates the model may serve as a basis for determining the neurobiological basis of executive function impairment.

May 6, 2024
Congratulations, Dr. Isabel Soto
Doctoral candidate, Isabel Soto, is now Dr. Isabel Soto, Ph.D..  She passed her dissertation defense today with distinction, excelling in all 3 major categories following her public seminar and defense of her dissertation entitled "

April 16, 2024
New publication in Experimental Neurology
Doctoral candidate Isabel Soto is first author on a rigorous study of the Pink1 knockout rat, wherein the impact of aging on locomotor and cognitive function are linked to differences in dopamine and norepinephrine levels in substantia nigra and prefrontal cortex.   The paper is entitled "Aging accelerates locomotor decline in PINK1 knockout rats in association with decreased nigral, but not striatal, dopamine and tyrosine hydroxylase expression".

This study addresses whether aging is a key "hit" for the onset of locomotor impairment which has, and has not, been reported in previous studies.  We hypothesized that aging would provide the neurobiological background to accelerate locomotor decline.  
Congratulations to Isabel on her first 1st author manuscript on a very high quality study.

January 10, 2024
Review of the role of dopamine in Parkinson's disease and aging-related parkinsonism to be published.
The review entitled "Dopamine signaling in substantia nigra and its impact on locomotor function; not a new concept, but neglected reality" will be published in the special issue "Dopamine, Histamine, Serotonin-Receptors, Ligands, and Their Biological Role in Central Nervous System Diseases" has been accepted for publication in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

Oct 21 2023
Moving Day, Parkinson's Foundation

Moving Day promotes 
awareness of the critical
importance to exercise,

and keep busy, in spite of
having Parkinson's.  At
Univ Texas-Arlington,
Moving Day for DFW was
a very successful event.
The track was filled with

participants with PD,
those caring for one
with PD, and those helping
with providing exercise and other programs.  We were delighted to take part with our dog, Lily (who was 
very much welcome).

Aug 25 2023
ew publication in Experimental Neurology.

Our new study offers insight as to why motor impairment in Parkinson's disease occurs only when the loss of nigrostriatal dopamine neurons is severe.   This compensatory process we found occurs in the substantia nigra, not striatum, and gives a possible clue for a therapeutic strategy to improve motor impairment in patients.   
Nigral-specific increase in ser31 phosphorylation compensates for tyrosine hydroxylase protein and nigrostriatal neuron loss: Implications for delaying parkinsonian signs

Manuscript to be published in Experimental Neurology
We received notice that our article entitled "DIfferential expression of RET and GDNF family receptor, GFR-a1, between striatum and substantia nigra following nigrostriatal lesion: a case for diminished GDNF-signaling" has been accepted for publication.  This study shows that GDNF receptors are diminished in expression as nigrostriatal neuron loss progresses.  This finding has direct implications to why GDNF therapy in Parkinson's patients may not have been as effective as anticipated.  

Congratulations to Isabel Soto
Senior graduate student Isabel Soto won well-earned recognition for her oral presentation, " Evaluating the Impact of Exercise on UCH-L1, GFAP, and S100B on Early-Stage Parkinson’s Disease: A Translation Study using Pink1-/- and 6-OHDA rats" of her dissertation work on biomarker equivalents in human PD and 2 rat PD models (6-OHDA and Pink1) at the Annual Neurobiology of Aging Symposium held May 9, 2023 at UNTHSC.   She was one of 3 students awarded this distinction.  

The Salvatore Lab is in its 18th year of pro-active engagement of discovery in neurodegenerative disease and aging-related pathologies that impact the ability to move as desired.  Parkinson's disease and aging-related parkinsonism severely compromise this ability.  We seek to understand the molecular basis for this impairment in established rodent models and collaborate with those investigating these questions in human studies.


 The lab has trained over 3 dozen undergraduate, graduate, and medical students in this process of discovery. 


 Salvatore Lab on Research Gate:

Last updated:  May 21, 2024
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