Caffeic acid phenethyl ester protects nigral dopaminergic neurons via dual mechanisms involving haem oxygenase-1 and brain-derived neurotrophic factor.Br J Pharmacol. 2012 Jun; 166(3):1151-68.BJ
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE
Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) is a component of honey bee propolis that can induce expression of haem oxygenase-1 (HO-1). Because HO-1 induction has been suggested to protect dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra, we examined the effect of CAPE in experimental models of dopaminergic neurodegeneration.
Neuroprotective effect of CAPE was investigated in rat organotypic midbrain slice cultures and in vivo, using a mouse model of dopaminergic neurodegeneration induced by intranigral injection of LPS and intrastriatal injection of 6-hydroxydopamine.
CAPE protected dopaminergic neurons in slice cultures from IFN-γ/LPS-induced injury. The effect of CAPE was inhibited by zinc protoporphyrin IX, an HO-1 inhibitor, and by neutralizing antibody against brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). A p38 MAPK inhibitor SB203580 prevented activation of NF-E2-related factor 2, attenuated increased expression of HO-1 and BDNF, and blocked the neuroprotective actions of CAPE. In the LPS-injected mouse model, daily intraperitoneal administration of CAPE protected dopaminergic neurons, up-regulated HO-1 and BDNF, and reduced the increase of activated microglia/macrophages. Neuroprotective effects of CAPE against LPS-induced injury was prevented by zinc protoporphyrin IX or anti-BDNF antibody. CAPE protected dopaminergic neurons and alleviated methamphetamine-induced rotational behaviour also in 6-hydroxydopamine hemiparkinsonian mice.
CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS
CAPE is a novel type of neuroprotective agent whose actions are mediated by both HO-1 and BDNF. These findings may provide novel clues to develop neuroprotective agents for treatment of neurodegenerative disorders.