Nimodipine, an L-type calcium channel blocker attenuates mitochondrial dysfunctions to protect against 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine-induced Parkinsonism in mice

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Parkinson's disease (PD), the most common progressive neurodegenerative movement disorder, results from loss of dopaminergic neurons of substantia nigra pars compacta. These neurons exhibit Cav1.3 channel-dependent pacemaking activity. Epidemiological studies suggest reduced risk for PD in population under long-term antihypertensive therapy with L-type calcium channel antagonists. These prompted us to investigate nimodipine, an L-type calcium channel blocker for neuroprotective effect in cellular and animal models of PD. Nimodipine (0.1–10 μM) significantly attenuated 1-methyl-4-phenyl pyridinium ion-induced loss in mitochondrial morphology, mitochondrial membrane potential and increases in intracellular calcium levels in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cell line as measured respectively employing Mitotracker green staining, TMRM, and Fura-2 fluorescence, but only a feeble neuroprotective effect was observed in MTT assay. Nimodipine dose-dependently reduced 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-induced parkinsonian syndromes (akinesia and catalepsy) and loss in swimming ability in Balb/c mice. It attenuated MPTP-induced loss of dopaminergic tyrosine hydroxylase positive neurons in substantia nigra, improved mitochondrial oxygen consumption and inhibited reactive oxygen species production in the striatal mitochondria measured using dichlorodihydrofluorescein fluorescence, but failed to block striatal dopamine depletion. These results point to an involvement of L-type calcium channels in MPTP-induced dopaminergic neuronal death in experimental parkinsonism and more importantly provide evidences for nimodipine to improve mitochondrial integrity and function.HighlightsMPP+-induced mitochondrial dysfunction in SH-SY5Y cells is assuaged by nimodipine.Nimodipine attenuates MPP+-induced rise in intracellular calcium in SH-SY5Y cells.Nimodipine reduces MPTP-induced mouse motor dysfunctions and striatal DA loss.Nimodipine curbs MPTP-induced ROS by correcting mitochondrial respiration.

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