Astrocytic Nrf2 Mediates the Neuroprotective and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Nootkatone in an MPTP-Induced Parkinson’s Disease Mouse Model

Jung Eun Park, Yea Hyun Leem, Jin Sun Park, Seong Eun Kim, Hee Sun Kim

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Abstract

This study aims to investigate the neuroprotective effects of nootkatone (NKT), a sesquiterpenoid compound isolated from grapefruit, in an MPTP-induced Parkinson’s disease (PD) mouse model. NKT restored MPTP-induced motor impairment and dopaminergic neuronal loss and increased the expression of neurotrophic factors like BDNF, GDNF, and PGC-1α. In addition, NKT inhibited microglial and astrocyte activation and the expression of pro-inflammatory markers like iNOS, TNF-α, and IL-1β and oxidative stress markers like 4-HNE and 8-OHdG. NKT increased the expression of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2)-driven antioxidant enzymes like HO-1 and NQO-1 in astrocytes, but not in neurons or microglia in MPTP-treated mice. To investigate whether Nrf2 mediates the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, or neuroprotective effects of NKT, mice were pretreated with Nrf2-specific inhibitor brusatol (BT) prior to NKT treatment. BT attenuated the NKT-mediated inhibition of 4-HNE and 8-OHdG and the number of Nrf2+/HO-1+/NQO1+ cells co-localized with GFAP+ astrocytes in the substantia nigra of MPTP-treated mice. In addition, BT reversed the effects of NKT on dopaminergic neuronal cell death, neurotrophic factors, and pro-/anti-inflammatory cytokines in MPTP-treated mice. Collectively, these data suggest that astrocytic Nrf2 and its downstream antioxidant molecules play pivotal roles in mediating the neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects of NKT in an MPTP-induced PD mouse model.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1999
JournalAntioxidants
Volume12
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.

Keywords

  • anti-inflammation
  • astrocyte
  • neuroprotection
  • nootkatone
  • Nrf2
  • Parkinson’s disease

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