Cerebral Dopamine Neurotrophic Factor (CDNF), also known as ARMETL1 (ARMET-like protein 1), is a secreted protein with eight conserved cysteine residues, predicting a unique protein fold and defining a new, evolutionarily conserved protein family. CDNF is a novel neurotrophic factor with strong trophic activity on dopaminergic neurons comparable to that of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF). CDNF/ARMETL1 is a evolutionary conserved protein which can protect and restore the function of dopaminergic neurons in the rat model of Parkinson's disease, suggesting that CDNF might be beneficial for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. CDNF is widely expressed in neurons in several brain regions including cerebral cortex, hippocampus, substantia nigra, striatum and cerebellum. Human CDNF is glycosylated and secreted from transiently transfected cells. CDNF promotes the survival, growth, and function of dopamine-specific neurons and is expressed in brain regions that undergo cocaine-induced neuroplasticity.