Indexed on: 03 Dec '14Published on: 03 Dec '14Published in: Neuroscience
Oxidative stress is central to the pathology of several neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease (PD), and therapeutics designed to enhance antioxidant potential could have clinical value. In this study, we investigated whether dimethyl fumarate (DMF) has therapeutic effects in cellular and animal model of PD, and explore the role of nuclear transcription factor related to NF-E2 (Nrf2) in this process. Treatment of animals and dopaminergic SH-SY5Y cells with DMF resulted in increased nuclear levels of active Nrf2, with subsequent upregulation of antioxidant target genes. The cytotoxicity of 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) was reduced by pre-treatment with DMF in SH-SY5Y cells. The increase in the reactive oxygen species caused by 6-OHDA treatment was also attenuated by DMF in SH-SY5Y cells. The neuroprotective effects of DMF against 6-OHDA neurotoxicity were dependent on Nrf2, since treatment with Nrf2 siRNA failed to block against 6-OHDA neurotoxicity and induce Nrf2-dependent cytoprotective genes in SH-SY5Y cells. In vivo, DMF oral administration was shown to upregulate mRNA and protein levels of Nrf2 and Nrf2-regulated cytoprotective genes, attenuate 6-OHDA induced striatal oxidative stress and inflammation in C57BL/6 mice. Moreover, DMF ameliorated dopaminergic neurotoxicity in 6-OHDA-induced PD animal models as evidenced by amelioration of locomotor dysfunction, loss in striatal dopamine, and reductions in dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra and striatum. Taken together, these data strongly suggest that DMF may be beneficial for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases like PD.