Meloxicam reduces lipopolysaccharide-induced degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the rat substantia nigra pars compacta.Neurosci Lett. 2009 Aug 28; 460(2):121-5.NL
Inflammation is believed to play an important role in the etiology and pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD). However, experimental and epidemiological evidences from various non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, including cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors, seem contradictive. Using the intranigral lipopolysaccharide (LPS) rat model, we show that meloxicam, a preferential COX-2 inhibitor, diminishes the activation of OX-42-immunoreactive (ir) microglia and reduces the loss of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-ir dopamine (DA) neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) that is normally induced by exposure to LPS. Double-labelling immunohistochemistry identified that activated microglia rather than intact resting microglia are the main intracellular venues for COX-2 expression. These findings suggest that inhibition of COX-2 activity in activated microglial cells may be potentially neuroprotective for DA neurons in the SNpc.