Tripchlorolide protects against MPTP-induced neurotoxicity in C57BL/6 mice.Eur J Neurosci. 2007 Sep; 26(6):1500-8.EJ
Many current studies of Parkinson's disease (PD) suggest that inflammation is involved in the neurodegenerative process. Tripchlorolide (TW397), a traditional Chinese herbal compound with anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties, has been shown to protect dopaminergic neurons against, and restore their function after, the neurotoxicity induced by 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium ions in vitro. This study was designed to investigate the effect of TW397 in vivo in the PD model of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-lesioned C57BL/6 mice. In the animals that received vehicle-only (i.e., no TW397) treatment with MPTP i.p. injection, the survival ratios of tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive (TH-IR) neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta and TH-IR fibres in the striatum were only 59 and 13%, respectively, compared with the normal controls. Intriguingly, in conjunction with MPTP, treatment with TW397, 1 microg/kg for 16 days, once per day, dramatically improved the survival rate of the TH-IR neurons and TH-IR fibres to 80 and 43% of the control. The treatment with TW397 also significantly improved the level of dopamine in the substantia nigra and striatum to 157 and 191%, respectively, of the MPTP- plus vehicle-treated group. In addition, in MPTP-treated animals the rota-rod performances of those treated with 0.5 or 1 microg/kg TW397 were significantly improved, by approximately 2- and 3-fold, respectively, relative to vehicle-treated animals. The neuroprotective effect of TW397 was coincident with an attenuated astroglial response within the striatum. These data demonstrate a neuroprotective action of TW397 in vivo against MPTP toxicity, with important implications for the treatment of PD.