- The bioenergetic status relates to dopamine neuron loss in familial PD with PINK1 mutations (2012)
- Mutations in the PINK1 gene cause autosomal recessive familial Parkinson’s disease (PD). The gene encodes a mitochondrial protein kinase that plays an important role in maintaining mitochondrial function and integrity. However, the pathophysiological link between mutation-related bioenergetic deficits and the degenerative process in dopaminergic neurons remains to be elucidated. We performed phosphorous (31P) and proton (1H) 3-T magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) in 11 members of a German family with hereditary PD due to PINK1 mutations (PARK6) compared to 23 age-matched controls. All family members had prior 18-Fluorodopa (FDOPA) positron emission tomography (PET). The striatal FDOPA uptake was correlated with quantified metabolic brain mapping in MRSI. At group level, the heterozygous PINK1 mutation carriers did not show any MRSI abnormalities relative to controls. In contrast, homozygous individuals with manifest PD had putaminal GPC, PCr, HEP and β-ATP levels well above the 2SD range of controls. Across all subjects, the FDOPA Ki values correlated positively with MI (r = 0.879, p<0.001) and inversely with β-ATP (r = −0.784, p = 0.008) and GPC concentrations (r = −0.651, p = 0.030) in the putamen. Our combined imaging data suggest that the dopaminergic deficit in this family with PD due to PINK1 mutations relates to osmolyte dysregulation, while the delivery of high energy phosphates was preserved. Our results corroborate the hypothesis that PINK1 mutations result in reduced neuronal survival, most likely due to impaired cellular stress resistance.
- Integrating movement ecology with biodiversity research - exploring new avenues to address spatiotemporal biodiversity dynamics (2013)
- Movement of organisms is one of the key mechanisms shaping biodiversity, e.g. the distribution of genes, individuals and species in space and time. Recent technological and conceptual advances have improved our ability to assess the causes and consequences of individual movement, and led to the emergence of the new field of ‘movement ecology’. Here, we outline how movement ecology can contribute to the broad field of biodiversity research, i.e. the study of processes and patterns of life among and across different scales, from genes to ecosystems, and we propose a conceptual framework linking these hitherto largely separated fields of research. Our framework builds on the concept of movement ecology for individuals, and demonstrates its importance for linking individual organismal movement with biodiversity. First, organismal movements can provide ‘mobile links’ between habitats or ecosystems, thereby connecting resources, genes, and processes among otherwise separate locations. Understanding these mobile links and their impact on biodiversity will be facilitated by movement ecology, because mobile links can be created by different modes of movement (i.e., foraging, dispersal, migration) that relate to different spatiotemporal scales and have differential effects on biodiversity. Second, organismal movements can also mediate coexistence in communities, through ‘equalizing’ and ‘stabilizing’ mechanisms. This novel integrated framework provides a conceptual starting point for a better understanding of biodiversity dynamics in light of individual movement and space-use behavior across spatiotemporal scales. By illustrating this framework with examples, we argue that the integration of movement ecology and biodiversity research will also enhance our ability to conserve diversity at the genetic, species, and ecosystem levels.