Montelukast attenuates rotenone-induced microglial activation/p38 MAPK expression in rats: Possible role of its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiapoptotic effects

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Abstract

Montelukast (MK),a cysteinyl leukotriene (CysLT1) receptor antagonist, latterly exhibited a remarkable neuroprotective activity in various neurodegenerative disorders. This study aims to elucidate the neuroprotective effect of MK in rotenone-induced Parkinson's disease(PD) model in rats. Ninety six male rats were split into four groups: vehicle control (0.2 ml/kg/48 h, sc), MK (10 mg/kg/day, ip), rotenone (1.5 mg/kg/48 h, sc.) and rotenone pretreated with MK. Rotenone treatment led to significant reduction in motor functioning and elevation in oxidative stress markers. Additionally, upregulation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK) and CysLT1 receptor expressions were anchored with enhanced striatal microglial activation generating a severe neuro-inflammatory milieu. Furthermore, an augmentation in p53 expression and cleaved caspases-3 activity increased apoptotic neurodegeneration synchronized with reduction of striatal tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) content. Changes in neuronal morphology was also noted. MK administration significantly mitigated motor impairment and rise in oxidative stress mediators. As well, the anti-inflammatory activity of MK was manifested by hindering the principal controller of inflammatory pathway, nuclear factor-kappa B, followed by its downstream pro-inflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-1 beta), by attenuating striatal microglial activation and hampering the expression of both p38 MAPK and CysLT1. Moreover, MK revealed a decline in p53 expression with its downstream cleaved caspases-3 which resulted in preservation of striatal TH terminals as verified by increased striatal TH content and improvement in the histopathological changes incited by rotenone. In conclusion, MK endowed neuroprotective effects in rotenone-induced PD animal model via attenuation of microglial cell activation and p38 MAPK expression.

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