BDNF as a Promising Therapeutic Agent in Parkinson's Disease.
ABSTRACT: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) promotes neuroprotection and neuroregeneration. In animal models of Parkinson's disease (PD), BDNF enhances the survival of dopaminergic neurons, improves dopaminergic neurotransmission and motor performance. Pharmacological therapies of PD are symptom-targeting, and their effectiveness decreases with the progression of the disease; therefore, new therapeutical approaches are needed. Since, in both PD patients and animal PD models, decreased level of BDNF was found in the nigrostriatal pathway, it has been hypothesized that BDNF may serve as a therapeutic agent. Direct delivery of exogenous BDNF into the patient's brain did not relieve the symptoms of disease, nor did attempts to enhance BDNF expression with gene therapy. Physical training was neuroprotective in animal models of PD. This effect is mediated, at least partly, by BDNF. Animal studies revealed that physical activity increases BDNF and tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB) expression, leading to inhibition of neurodegeneration through induction of transcription factors and expression of genes related to neuronal proliferation, survival, and inflammatory response. This review focuses on the evidence that increasing BDNF level due to gene modulation or physical exercise has a neuroprotective effect and could be considered as adjunctive therapy in PD.
Project description:Support of ageing neurons by endogenous neurotrophic factors such as glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) may determine whether the neurons resist or succumb to neurodegeneration. GDNF has been tested in clinical trials for the treatment of Parkinson disease (PD), a common neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the loss of midbrain dopaminergic (DA) neurons. BDNF modulates nigrostriatal functions and rescues DA neurons in PD animal models. The physiological roles of GDNF and BDNF signaling in the adult nigrostriatal DA system are unknown. We generated mice with regionally selective ablations of the genes encoding the receptors for GDNF (Ret) and BDNF (TrkB). We find that Ret, but not TrkB, ablation causes progressive and adult-onset loss of DA neurons specifically in the substantia nigra pars compacta, degeneration of DA nerve terminals in striatum, and pronounced glial activation. These findings establish Ret as a critical regulator of long-term maintenance of the nigrostriatal DA system and suggest conditional Ret mutants as useful tools for gaining insights into the molecular mechanisms involved in the development of PD.
Project description:Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive and selective death of dopaminergic neurons. Orexin-A is involved in many biological effects of the body. It has been reported that orexin-A has protective effects in cellular models of PD. However, little is known about the protective effects of orexin-A in animal parkinsonian models and the cellular mechanism has not yet been fully clarified. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of orexin-A in MPTP mice model of PD as well as the possible neuroprotective mechanisms of orexin-A on dopaminergic neurons. The results from animal experiments demonstrated that orexin-A attenuated the loss of dopaminergic neurons and the decrease of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) expression in the substantia nigra, normalized the striatal dopaminergic fibers, and prevented the depletion of dopamine and its metabolites in the striatum. MPTP-treated mice showed cognitive impairments accompanied with significant motor deficiency. Orexin-A improved MPTP-induced impairments in both motor activity and spatial memory. Importantly, orexin-A increased the protein level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra. Furthermore, the protective effects of orexin-A on MPTP parkinsonian mice could be blocked by orexinergic receptor 1 (OX1R) antagonist, SB334867. In another set of experiments with SH-SY5Y dopaminergic cells, orexin-A significantly induced the expression of BDNF in a dose and time-dependent manner. The upregulation of BDNF is mainly concerned with PI3K and PKC signaling pathways via OX1R. The present study demonstrated that orexin-A exerted neuroprotective effects on MPTP parkinsonian mice, which may imply orexin-A as a potential therapeutic target for PD.
Project description:Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease, which is clinically and pathologically characterized by motor dysfunction and the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra, respectively. PD treatment with stem cells has long been studied by researchers; however, no adequate treatment strategy has been established. The results of studies so far have suggested that stem cell transplantation can be an effective treatment for PD. However, PD is a progressively deteriorating neurodegenerative disease that requires long-term treatment, and this has been insufficiently studied. Thus, we aimed to investigate the therapeutic potential of human adipose-derived stem cells (hASC) for repeated vein transplantation over long-term in an animal model of PD. In 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-induced PD model mice, hASCs were administered on the tail vein six times at two-week intervals. After the last injection of hASCs, motor function significantly improved. The number of dopaminergic neurons present in the nigrostriatal pathway was recovered using hASC transplantation. Moreover, the administration of hASC restored altered dopamine transporter expression and increased neurotrophic factors, such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), in the striatum. Overall, this study suggests that repeated intravenous transplantation of hASC may exert therapeutic effects on PD by restoring BDNF and GDNF expressions, protecting dopaminergic neurons, and maintaining the nigrostriatal pathway.
Project description:Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) is the most common neurosurgical treatment for Parkinson's disease motor symptoms. In preclinical models, STN DBS provides neuroprotection for substantia nigra (SN) dopamine neurons and increases BDNF in the nigrostriatal system and primary motor cortex. However, whether BDNF signaling in the SN participates in the neuroprotective effects of DBS remains unknown. We demonstrate that STN DBS in male rats activates signaling downstream of tropomyosin receptor kinase type B (trkB), namely, phosphorylation of Akt and ribosomal protein S6, in SN neurons. Long-term trkB blockade abolished STN DBS-mediated neuroprotection of SN neurons following progressive 6-hydroxydopamine lesion and was associated with decreased phosphorylated ribosomal protein S6 immunoreactivity. Acute trkB blockade in rats with stable nigrostriatal denervation attenuated the forelimb akinesia improvement normally induced by STN DBS. These results suggest that STN DBS increases BDNF-trkB signaling to contribute to the neuroprotective and symptomatic efficacy of STN DBS.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation (STN DBS) is increasingly used in mid- to late-stage Parkinson's disease (PD) but with an incomplete knowledge of its molecular mechanisms. STN DBS is neuroprotective against neurotoxicants in animal models and increases BDNF. This study is the first to show that BDNF signaling through the cognate tropomyosin receptor kinase type B (trkB) receptor occurs in substantia nigra pars compacta neurons and is required for neuroprotection. In addition, blockade of trkB unexpectedly reduced the functional benefit of STN DBS on a short timescale that is inconsistent with canonical trkB signaling pathways, suggesting a noncanonical role for trkB in STN DBS-mediated behavioral effects. Together, these data implicate trkB signaling in the symptomatic efficacy and disease-modifying potential of STN DBS.
Project description:Although L-dopa continues to be the gold standard for treating motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD), it presents long-term complications. Deep brain stimulation is effective, but only a small percentage of idiopathic PD patients are eligible. Based on results in animal models and a handful of patients, dorsal column stimulation (DCS) has been proposed as a potential therapy for PD. To date, the long-term effects of DCS in animal models have not been quantified. Here, we report that DCS applied twice a week in rats treated with bilateral 6-OHDA striatal infusions led to a significant improvement in symptoms. DCS-treated rats exhibited a higher density of dopaminergic innervation in the striatum and higher neuronal cell count in the substantia nigra pars compacta compared to a control group. These results suggest that DCS has a chronic therapeutical and neuroprotective effect, increasing its potential as a new clinical option for treating PD patients.
Project description:Parkinson's disease (PD) is a chronic neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the loss of dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra, decreased striatal dopamine levels, and consequent extrapyramidal motor dysfunction. Recent evidence indicates that cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) is inappropriately activated in several neurodegenerative conditions, including PD. To date, strategies to specifically inhibit Cdk5 hyperactivity have not been successful without affecting normal Cdk5 activity. Previously we reported that TFP5 peptide has neuroprotective effects in animal models of Alzheimer's disease. Here we show that TFP5/TP5 selective inhibition of Cdk5/p25 hyperactivation in vivo and in vitro rescues nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurodegeneration induced by 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP/MPP+) in a mouse model of PD. TP5 peptide treatment also blocked dopamine depletion in the striatum and improved gait dysfunction after MPTP administration. The neuroprotective effect of TFP5/TP5 peptide is also associated with marked reduction in neuroinflammation and apoptosis. Here we show selective inhibition of Cdk5/p25 -hyperactivation by TFP5/TP5 peptide, which identifies the kinase as a potential therapeutic target to reduce neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease.
Project description:Prokineticin-2 (PK2), a recently discovered secreted protein, regulates important physiological functions including olfactory biogenesis and circadian rhythms in the CNS. Interestingly, although PK2 expression is low in the nigral system, its receptors are constitutively expressed on nigrostriatal neurons. Herein, we demonstrate that PK2 expression is highly induced in nigral dopaminergic neurons during early stages of degeneration in multiple models of Parkinson's disease (PD), including PK2 reporter mice and MitoPark mice. Functional studies demonstrate that PK2 promotes mitochondrial biogenesis and activates ERK and Akt survival signalling pathways, thereby driving neuroprotection. Importantly, PK2 overexpression is protective whereas PK2 receptor antagonism exacerbates dopaminergic degeneration in experimental PD. Furthermore, PK2 expression increased in surviving nigral dopaminergic neurons from PD brains, indicating that PK2 upregulation is clinically relevant to human PD. Collectively, our results identify a paradigm for compensatory neuroprotective PK2 signalling in nigral dopaminergic neurons that could have important therapeutic implications for PD.
Project description:Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disease characterized by the degeneration of nigrostriatal dopaminergic (DA) neurons. Our previous studies have suggested that salidroside (Sal) might play neuroprotective effects against PD by preserving mitochondrial Complex I activity. However, the exact mechanism of the neuroprotective effect of Sal remains unclear. Growing evidence indicates that PINK1/Parkin-mediated mitophagy is involved in the development of PD. In this study, we investigated whether Sal exerts a neuroprotective effect by modulating PINK1/Parkin-mediated mitophagy. Results showed that Sal alleviated MPTP-induced motor deficits in pole test. Moreover, Sal diminished MPTP-induced degeneration of nigrostriatal DA neurons as evidenced by upregulated TH-positive neurons in the substantia nigra, increased DAT expression, and high dopamine and metabolite levels in the striatum. Furthermore, in comparison with the MPP<sup>+</sup>/MPTP group, Sal considerably increased the mitophagosome and mitophagy flux. Moreover, in comparison with the MPP<sup>+</sup>/MPTP group, Sal evidently enhanced the mitochondrial expression of PINK1 and Parkin, accompanied by an increase in the colocalization of mitochondria with Parkin. However, transfection of MN9D cells with PINK1 siRNA reversed Sal-induced activated mitophagy and cytoprotective effect. In conclusion, Sal may confer neuroprotective effects by enhancing PINK1/Parkin-mediated mitophagy in MPP<sup>+</sup>/MPTP-induced PD models.
Project description:We recently reported that adeno-associated virus serotype 1 (AAV1) transduction of murine nigral dopaminergic (DA) neurons with constitutively active ras homolog enriched in brain with a mutation of serine to histidine at position 16 [Rheb(S16H)] induced the production of neurotrophic factors, resulting in neuroprotective effects on the nigrostriatal DA system in animal models of Parkinson's disease (PD). To further investigate whether AAV1-Rheb(S16H) transduction has neuroprotective potential against neurotoxic inflammation, which is known to be a potential event related to PD pathogenesis, we examined the effects of Rheb(S16H) expression in nigral DA neurons under a neurotoxic inflammatory environment induced by the endogenous microglial activator prothrombin kringle-2 (pKr-2). Our observations showed that Rheb(S16H) transduction played a role in the neuroprotection of the nigrostriatal DA system against pKr-2-induced neurotoxic inflammation, even though there were similar levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-?) and interleukin-1-beta (IL-1?), in the AAV1-Rheb(S16H)-treated substantia nigra (SN) compared to the SN treated with pKr-2 alone; the neuroprotective effects may be mediated by the activation of neurotrophic signaling pathways following Rheb(S16H) transduction of nigral DA neurons. We conclude that AAV1-Rheb(S16H) transduction of neuronal populations to activate the production of neurotrophic factors and intracellular neurotrophic signaling pathways may offer promise for protecting adult neurons from extracellular neurotoxic inflammation.
Project description:Oxidative distress and mitochondrial dysfunction, are key factors involved in the pathophysiology of Parkinson's disease (PD). The pleiotropic hormone insulin-like growth factor II (IGF-II) has shown neuroprotective and antioxidant effects in some neurodegenerative diseases. In this work, we demonstrate the protective effect of IGF-II against the damage induced by 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+) in neuronal dopaminergic cell cultures and a mouse model of progressive PD. In the neuronal model, IGF-II counteracts the oxidative distress produced by MPP + protecting dopaminergic neurons. Improved mitochondrial function, increased nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like2 (NRF2) nuclear translocation along with NRF2-dependent upregulation of antioxidative enzymes, and modulation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signalling pathway were identified as mechanisms leading to neuroprotection and the survival of dopaminergic cells. The neuroprotective effect of IGF-II against MPP + -neurotoxicity on dopaminergic neurons depends on the specific IGF-II receptor (IGF-IIr). In the mouse model, IGF-II prevents behavioural dysfunction and dopaminergic nigrostriatal pathway degeneration and mitigates neuroinflammation induced by MPP+. Our work demonstrates that hampering oxidative stress and normalising mitochondrial function through the interaction of IGF-II with its specific IGF-IIr are neuroprotective in both neuronal and mouse models. Thus, the modulation of the IGF-II/IGF-IIr signalling pathway may be a useful therapeutic approach for the prevention and treatment of PD.