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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Protection by pioglitazone in the MPTP model of Parkinson's disease correlates with I kappa B alpha induction and block of NF kappa B and iNOS activation.

Inflammation has been implicated in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD). In the chronic 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) model of PD, inducible NO synthase (iNOS) derived nitric oxide (NO) is an important mediator of dopaminergic cell death. Ligands of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) exert anti-inflammatory effects. We here investigated whether pioglitazone, a PPARgamma agonist, protected mice from MPTP-induced dopaminergic cell loss, glial activation, and loss of catecholamines in the striatum. As shown by western blot, PPARgamma was expressed in the striatum and the substantia nigra of vehicle- and MPTP-treated mice. Oral administration of 20 mg/(kg day) of pioglitazone protected tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-positive substantia nigra neurons from death induced by 5 x 30 mg/kg MPTP. However, the decrease of dopamine in the striatum was only partially prevented. In mice treated with pioglitazone, there were a reduced activation of microglia, reduced induction of iNOS-positive cells and less glial fibrillary acidic protein positive cells in both striatum and substantia nigra pars compacta. In addition, treatment with pioglitazone almost completely blocked staining of TH-positive neurons for nitrotyrosine, a marker of NO-mediated cell damage. Because an increase in inhibitory protein-kappa-Balpha (IkappaBalpha) expression and inhibition of translocation of the nuclear factor kappaB (NFkappaB) subunit p65 to the nucleus in dopaminergic neurons, glial cells and astrocytes correlated with the protective effects of pioglitazone, our results suggest that pioglitazone sequentially acts through PPARgamma activation, IkappaBalpha induction, block of NFkappaB activation, iNOS induction and NO-mediated toxicity. In conclusion, treatment with pioglitazone may offer a treatment opportunity in PD to slow the progression of disease that is mediated by inflammation.[1]


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