Effects of (-)-sesamin on 6-hydroxydopamine-induced neurotoxicity in PC12 cells and dopaminergic neuronal cells of Parkinson's disease rat models

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The present study investigated the effects of (-)-sesamin on 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-induced neurotoxicity using PC12 cells and dopaminergic neuronal cells of 6-OHDA-lesioned rat model of Parkinson's disease (PD). In PC12 cells, treatment with (-)-sesamin (25 μM) reduced 6-OHDA (100 μM)-induced cell death and induced transient extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2) phosphorylation and Bad phosphorylation at Ser112 (BadSer112). In contrast, sustained ERK1/2 phosphorylation, p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38MAPK) and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK1/2) phosphorylation, and cleaved-caspase-3 activity, all of which were induced by 6-OHDA (100 μM), were inhibited by treatment with (-)-sesamin (25 μM). Furthermore, co-treatment with (-)-sesamin (30 mg/kg, p.o.) once a day for 28 days significantly increased the number of tyrosine hydroxylase-immunopositive neuronal cells and the levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid, and homovanillic acid in the substantia nigra-striatum of 6-OHDA-lesioned rat model of PD with or without L-DOPA treatment. These results suggest that (-)-sesamin protects 6-OHDA-induced cytotoxicity via the activation of transient ERK1/2-BadSer112 system and the inhibition of sustained ERK-p38MAPK-JNK1/2-caspase-3 system in PC12 cells. (-)-Sesamin also shows protective effects on long-term L-DOPA therapy in dopaminergic neuronal cells of PD rat models. (-)-Sesamin may serve as adjuvant therapeutics in PD.

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