Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder affecting millions of people worldwide. At present, there is no effective cure for PD; treatments are symptomatic and do not halt progression of neurodegeneration. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) can cross the blood–brain barrier and represent promising alternative to the classical treatment strategies. In the present study, we examined therapeutic effects of intranasal administration of EVs derived from human exfoliated deciduous teeth stem cells (SHEDs) on unilateral 6‐hydroxydopamine (6‐OHDA) medial forebrain bundle (MFB) rat model of PD. CatWalk gait tests revealed that EVs effectively suppressed 6‐OHDA‐induced gait impairments. All tested gait parameters (stand, stride length, step cycle, and duty cycle) were significantly improved in EV‐treated animals when compared with 6‐OHDA‐lesion group rats. Furthermore, EVs slowed down numbers of 6‐OHDA‐induced contralateral rotations in apomorphine test. Improvements in motor function correlated with normalization of tyrosine hydroxylase expression in the striatum and substantia nigra. In conclusion, we demonstrated, for the first time, the therapeutic efficacy of intranasal administration of EVs derived from SHEDs in a rat model of PD induced by 6‐OHDA intra‐MFB lesion. Our findings could be potentially exploited for the development of new treatment strategies against PD.
Neuroinflammation, oxidative stress, decreased glucose/energy metabolism, and disrupted neurotransmission are changes that occur early in sporadic Alzheimer’s disease (AD), manifesting as mild cognitive impairment. Recently, the imbalanced function of the gamma‐aminobutyric acid (GABA) system was identified as a critical factor in AD progression. Thus, maintaining balance among neurotransmitter systems, particularly the GABA system, can be considered a beneficial strategy to slow AD progression. The present study investigated the effects of the compound gammapyrone, a molecule containing three GABA moieties: “free” moiety attached to the position 4 of the 1,4‐dihydropyridine (DHP) ring, and two “crypto” moieties as part of the DHP scaffold. The “free” and “crypto” GABA moieties are linked by a peptide bond (–CONH–), resulting in a peptide‐mimicking structure. In a nontransgenic male rat AD model generated by intracerebroventricular (icv) streptozocin (STZ) administration, gammapyrone (0.1 and 0.5 mg/kg ip) mitigated the impairment of spatial learning and memory, prevented astroglial and microglial neuroinflammation, and normalized acetylcholine breakdown and GABA biosynthesis. In PC12 cells, gammapyrone protected against oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction and apoptosis caused by the mitochondrial toxin di‐2‐ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP). Gammapyrone did not bind to GABA‐A and GABA‐B receptors in vitro; therefore, we cannot attribute its neuroprotective action to a specific interaction with GABA receptors. Nevertheless, we suggest that the peptide‐like regulatory mechanisms of gammapyrone or its allosteric modulatory properties are essential for the observed effects. Since, the icv STZ model resembles the early stages of AD, gammapyrone, and/or its congeners could be useful in the design of anti‐dementia drugs.
Azidothymidine, a nucleoside-analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI), is a commonly used antiretroviral drug in AIDS treatment, however its use is limited by severe toxic side effects due to its influence on mitochondria that result in myopathy, particularly affecting the cardiac muscle. We suggest that effective protection of azidothymidineinduced cardiopathology can be expected from drugs that are capable of targeting mitochondria. Therefore the present study in mice was carried out with mildronate, a cardioprotective drug of the aza-butyrobetaine class, which previously has been shown to act as a highly potent protector of mitochondrial processes. In our study, saline (control), azidothymidine (50 mg/kg), mildronate (50, 100 and 200 mg/kg), and azidothymidine π mildronate (at the doses mentioned) were injected intraperitoneally daily in separate groups of mice for two weeks. At the termination of the experiment, mice were sacrificed, the hearts were removed and cardiac tissue was examined morphologically and immunohistochemically. It was found that azidothymidine, compared to control and mildronate groups, induced major morphologic changes in cardiac tissue, which were manifestated as degeneration and inflammation. These changes were prevented when mildronate was co-administered with azidothymidine. Mildronate also reduced the azidothymidine-induced expression of nuclear factor kBp65 (NF-kBp65). The obtained data demonstrate a high ability of mildronate of preventing azidothymidine-induced cardiopathologic changes, and suggest mildronate's indirect action on azidothymidine-caused oxidative stress reactions leading to mitochondrial dysfunction. This offers a rational combination of mildronate with azidothymidine or other anti-HIV drugs for beneficial application in AIDS therapy.
Previously mildronate, an aza-butyrobetaine derivative, was shown to be a cytoprotective drug, through its mechanism of action of inhibition of carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1, thus protecting mitochondria from long-chain fatty acid accumulation and subsequent damage. Recently in an azidothymidine (AZT)-induced cardiotoxicity model in vivo (in mice), we have found mildronate's ability of protecting heart tissue from nuclear factor kB abnormal expression. Preliminary data also demonstrate cerebro-and hepatoprotecting properties of mildronate in AZT-toxicity models. We suggest that mildronate may target its action predominantly to mitochondria. The present study in isolated rat liver mitochondria was designed to clarify mitochondrial targets for mildronate by using AZT as a model compound. The aim of this study was to investigate: (1) whether mildronate may protect mitochondria from AZT-induced toxicity; and (2) which is the most critical target in mitochondrial processes that is responsible for mildronate's regulatory action. The results showed that mildronate protected mitochondria from AZT-induced damage predominantly at the level of complex I, mainly by reducing hydrogen peroxide generation. Significant protection of AZT-caused inhibition of uncoupled respiration, ADP to oxygen ratio, and transmembrane potential were also observed. Mildronate per se had no effect on the bioenergetics, oxidative stress, or permeability transition of rat liver mitochondria. Since mitochondrial complex I is the first enzyme of the respiratory electron transport chain and its damage is considered to be responsible for different mitochondrial diseases, we may account for mildronate's effectiveness in the prevention of pathologies associated with mitochondrial dysfunctions.
Previously, we have found that mildronate [3-(2,2,2-trimethylhydrazinium) propionate dihydrate], a small molecule with charged nitrogen and oxygen atoms, protects mitochondrial metabolism that is altered by inhibitors of complex I and has neuroprotective effects in an azidothymidine-neurotoxicity mouse model. In the present study, we investigated the effects of mildronate in a rat model of Parkinson’s disease (PD) that was generated via a unilateral intrastriatal injection of the neurotoxin 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA). We assessed the expression of cell biomarkers that are involved in signaling cascades and provide neural and glial integration: the neuronal marker TH (tyrosine hydroxylase); ubiquitin (a regulatory peptide involved in the ubiquitin-proteasome degradation system); Notch-3 (a marker of progenitor cells); IBA-1 (a marker of microglial cells); glial fibrillary acidic protein, GFAP (a marker of astrocytes); and inducible nitric oxide synthase, iNOS (a marker of inflammation). The data show that in the 6-OHDA-lesioned striatum, mildronate completely prevented the loss of TH, stimulated Notch-3 expression and decreased the expression of ubiquitin, GFAP and iNOS. These results provide evidence for the ability of mildronate to control the expression of an array of cellular proteins and, thus, impart multi-faceted homeostatic mechanisms in neurons and glial cells in a rat model of PD. We suggest that the use of mildronate provides a protective effect during the early stages of PD that can delay or halt the progression of this neurodegenerative disease.
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