[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Anti-inflammatory strategies have attracted much interest for their potential to prevent further deterioration of Parkinson's disease. Recent experimental and clinical evidence indicate that statins - extensively used in medical practice as effective lipid-lowering agents - have also anti-inflammatory effects. In this study, we investigated the influence of simvastatin on the degenerative process of the dopaminergic neurons of the rat following intranigral injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a potent inductor of inflammation that we have previously used as an animal model of Parkinson's disease. We evaluated TH positive neurons, astroglial, and microglial populations and found that simvastatin prevented the inflammatory processes, as the induction of interleukin-1beta, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and iNOS and the consequent dopaminergic degeneration induced by LPS. Moreover, simvastatin produced the activation of the neurotrophic factor BDNF, along with the prevention of the oxidative damage to proteins. Moreover, it also prevents the main changes produced by LPS on different mitogen-activated protein kinases, featured as increases of P-c-Jun N-terminal protein kinase, P-extracellular signal-regulated kinase, p-38, and P-glycogen synthase kinase and the decrease of the promotion of cell survival signals such as cAMP response element-binding protein and Akt. Our results suggest that statins could delay the progression of dopaminergic degeneration in disorders involving inflammatory processes.
Journal of Neurochemistry 05/2008; 105(2):445-59. · 4.24 Impact Factor