The application of neurotrophic factors (NTFs) is a promising therapeutic strategy for neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease (PD). Many NTFs have been reported to enhance the survival, regeneration, and differentiation of neurons and to induce synaptic plasticity. However, because of their potential side-effects and low efficacy after clinical administration, more potent treatments for neurodegenerative disorders are being sought. Cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor (CDNF), a newly-identified NTF homologous to mesencephalic astrocyte-derived NTF, is structurally and functionally different from other NTFs, providing new hope especially for PD patients. In various animal models of PD, CDNF is efficient in protecting and repairing dopaminergic neurons, and it inhibits endoplasmic reticulum stress, neuroinflammation, and apoptosis. Recent progress in all facets of CDNF research has enabled researchers to better understand its beneficial effects in the treatment of PD.
Keywords: Anti-apoptotic; Anti-inflammatory; Cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor; Neuroprotection; Parkinson’s disease.