Parkin deficiency increases vulnerability to inflammation-related nigral degeneration.
ABSTRACT The loss of nigral dopaminergic (DA) neurons in idiopathic Parkinson's disease (PD) is believed to result from interactions between genetic susceptibility and environmental factors. Evidence that inflammatory processes modulate PD risk comes from prospective studies that suggest that higher plasma concentrations of a number of proinflammatory cytokines correlate with an increased risk of developing PD and chronic nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug regimens reduce the incidence of PD. Although loss-of-function mutations in the parkin gene cause early-onset familial PD, Parkin-deficient (parkin-/-) mice do not display nigrostriatal pathway degeneration, suggesting that a genetic factor is not sufficient, and an environmental trigger may be needed to cause nigral DA neuron loss. To test the hypothesis that parkin-/- mice require an inflammatory stimulus to develop nigral DA neuron loss, low-dose lipopolysaccaride (LPS) was administered intraperitoneally for prolonged periods. Quantitative real-time PCR and immunofluorescence labeling of inflammatory markers indicated that this systemic LPS treatment regimen triggered persistent neuroinflammation in wild-type and parkin-/- mice. Although inflammatory and oxidative stress responses to the inflammation regimen did not differ significantly between the two genotypes, only parkin-/- mice displayed subtle fine-motor deficits and selective loss of DA neurons in substantia nigra. Therefore, our studies suggest that loss of Parkin function increases the vulnerability of nigral DA neurons to inflammation-related degeneration. This new model of nigral DA neuron loss may enable identification of early biomarkers of degeneration and aid in preclinical screening efforts to identify compounds that can halt or delay the progressive degeneration of the nigrostriatal pathway.
Article: Synergistic dopaminergic neurotoxicity of MPTP and inflammogen lipopolysaccharide: relevance to the etiology of Parkinson's disease.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Parkinson's disease (PD) is a profound movement disorder resulting from progressive degeneration of the nigrostriatal dopaminergic pathway. Although its etiology remains unknown, increasing evidence suggests the involvement of multiple factors such as environmental toxins and genetic susceptibilities in the pathogenesis of PD. In this study using mesencephalic neuron-glia cultures as an in vitro PD model, we demonstrated that the neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP, 0.1-0.5 microM) and an inflammogen lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 0.5 ng/ml) synergistically induced a progressive and selective degeneration of dopaminergic neurons. The synergistic neurotoxicity was observed when both agents were applied either simultaneously or in tandem. The synergistic neurotoxicity was more prominent when lower doses of both agents were applied for a longer period of time. Mechanistically, microglial NADPH oxidase-mediated generation of reactive oxygen species played a pivotal role in the synergistic neurotoxicity: MPTP and LPS synergistically stimulated the NADPH oxidase-mediated release of superoxide free radical; pharmacological inhibition and genetic inactivation of NADPH oxidase prevented superoxide production and the synergistic neurotoxicity. Additionally, inhibition of nitric oxide synthase afforded significant neuroprotection, suggesting the involvement of nitric oxide in the synergistic neurotoxicity. This study lends strong support for a multifactorial etiology of PD and provides clues for therapeutic interventions.The FASEB Journal 11/2003; 17(13):1957-9. · 5.71 Impact Factor