The function of Hemoglobin in dopaminergic cells

Hemoglobin (Hb) is the main component of erythrocytes in the blood, where it serves as a molecular cargo of oxygen and carbon dioxide to and from tissues. 
By gene expression analysis we have discovered that alpha- and beta-chains of Hb are expressed in A9 dopaminergic neurons. Globin immunoreactivity decorates the majority of these cells. This pattern of expression has been confirmed in different mouse strains and in rat and human. 
By microarray analysis of dopaminergic cell lines overexpressing alpha- and beta-globin chains, changes in genes involved in O(2) homeostasis and oxidative phopshorylation have been observed, linking Hb expression to mitochondrial function. 
We are currently studying the role of hemoglobin in dopaminergic cell function and in PD animal models.