This is the end of the 6-month internship of Natacha in HCS Pharma, about the microenvironment modifications in Parkinson’s disease.

Indeed, in vivo studies in the literature showed that the neuronal death in Parkinson’s disease involved Extracellular Matrix (ECM) modifications, including an increase in some components like collagen and a decrease in Hyaluronic acid (HA) level. In parallel, an increase in the HA receptor CD44 has been described in patients’ brains. Moreover, the matrix is also involved in the neuroinflammation found in neurodegenerative disease, including the activation of glial cells by chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans, and the formation of pro-inflammatory bioactive fragments by the MPP-induced ECM degradation. In this context, we aimed at analyzing the matrix modifications in vitro, in the final goal to find new neuroprotective molecules targeting not only the cells but also their microenvironment.

In this purpose, Natacha analyzed in vitro the expression of several ECM components in a co-culture of dopaminergic neurons (Luhmes cell line) and glial cells (human primary astrocytes), in 3D in BIOMIMESYS® Brain hydroscaffold™, in healthy and pathological conditions. The neurodegeneration was pharmacologically induced by 6-hydroxydopamine, a Parkinson’s disease inducer. Because HCS Pharma is specialized in phenotypic screening, all the analyses were performed by immunostaining and fluorescent confocal microscopy, followed by automated image analysis. The model could finally be used for high content screening for drug discovery, but for the moment this pioneer work is still ongoing… 

Pathological modifications of the ECM in Parkinson’s disease. Adapted from Stephenson & Young, 2018
“It was a pleasure to work at HCS Pharma, I’ve learnt a lot about 3D cell culture with BIOMIMESYS and people here are amazing”. (Natacha Perrin)

Thank you Natacha for this great work!

Do not hesitate to contact us if you want more information about BIOMIMESYS® Brain hydroscaffold™, the HCS Pharma’s technology for 3D cell culture which mimics the ECM. You can also watch the replay of our Webinar about 3D cell culture using BIOMIMESYS® Brain.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.