Chronic metabolic and neurodegenerative syndromes such as obesity or Parkinson’s disease, represent a growing epidemic especially in the constantly aging populations. They result from a failure in the interplay of environmental factors, humoral signals, extra- and intracellular enzymatic cascades, genetic and epigenetic signals in the central nervous system and in the periphery. Physiological and pathophysiological mechanisms involved in this regulation require intensive research to develop novel therapeutic strategies.
Our research group has a strong interest in studying the role of distinct neuronal population-specific non-coding RNAs in chronic complex trait disorders. In perspective, the integration of expression and functional data from mouse and patient brain samples will provide novel insights for future genome wide association studies aiming to identify genetic variants within non-coding RNA genes and/or within the genes influenced by these RNA species.