Neuroprotective effects of caffeine in MPTP model of Parkinson's disease: A 13C NMR study

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Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by degeneration of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons with an accompanying neuroinflammation leading to loss of dopamine in the basal ganglia. Caffeine, a well-known A2A receptor antagonist is reported to slow down the neuroinflammation caused by activated microglia and reduce the extracellular glutamate in the brain. In this study, we have evaluated the neuroprotective effect of caffeine in the MPTP model of PD by monitoring the region specific cerebral energy metabolism. Adult C57BL6 mice were treated with caffeine (30 mg/kg, i.p.) 30 min prior to MPTP (25 mg/kg, i.p.) administration for 8 days. The paw grip strength of mice was assessed in order to evaluate the motor function after various treatments. For metabolic studies, mice were infused with [1,6–13C2]glucose, and 13C labeling of amino acids was monitored using ex vivo1H-[13C]-NMR spectroscopy. The paw grip strength was found to be reduced following the MPTP treatment. The caffeine pretreatment showed significant protection against the reduction of paw grip strength in MPTP treated mice. The levels of GABA and myo-inositol were found to be elevated in the striatum of MPTP treated mice. The 13C labeling of GluC4, GABAC2 and GlnC4 from [1,6–13C2]glucose was decreased in the cerebral cortex, striatum, olfactory bulb, thalamus and cerebellum suggesting impaired glutamatergic and GABAergic neuronal activity and neurotransmission of the MPTP treated mice. Most interestingly, the pretreatment of caffeine maintained the 13C labeling of amino acids to the control values in cortical, olfactory bulb and cerebellum regions while it partially retained in striatal and thalamic regions in MPTP treated mice. The pretreatment of caffeine provides a partial neuro-protection against severe striatal degeneration in the MPTP model of PD.HighlightsMPTP treatment decreased paw grip strength.Levels of GABA and myo-inosital are elevated in the striatum and OB.Metabolic activity of glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons is impaired.Caffeine provides partial protection against MPTP neurotoxicity.

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