Neuroinflammation is crucial in the progression of neurodegenerative diseases. Thus, con-trolling neuroinflammation has been proposed as an important therapeutic strategy for neurodegener-ative disease. In the present study, we examined the anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects of GTS-21, a selective α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7 nAChR) agonist, in neuroinflammation and Parkinson’s disease (PD) mouse models. GTS-21 inhibited the expression of inducible nitric oxide syn-thase (iNOS) and proinflammatory cytokines in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated BV2 microglial cells and primary microglia. Further research revealed that GTS-21 has anti-inflammatory properties by inhibiting PI3K/Akt, NF-κB, and upregulating AMPK, Nrf2, CREB, and PPARγ signals. The effects of GTS-21 on these pro-/anti-inflammatory signaling molecules were reversed by treatment with an α7 nAChR antagonist, suggesting that the anti-inflammatory effects of GTS-21 are mediated through α7 nAChR activation. The anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties of GTS-21 were then confirmed in LPS-induced systemic inflammation and MPTP-induced PD model mice. In LPS-injected mouse brains, GTS-21 reduced microglial activation and production of proinflammatory markers. Furthermore, in the brains of MPTP-injected mice, GTS-21 restored locomotor activity and dopaminergic neuronal cell death while inhibiting microglial activation and pro-inflammatory gene expression. These findings suggest that GTS-21 has therapeutic potential in neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases such as PD.
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- Parkinson’s disease
- molecular mechanism
- α7 nAChR agonist