Indexed on: 21 Jul '12Published on: 21 Jul '12Published in: PloS one
Human albumin has recently been demonstrated to protect brain neurons from injury in rat ischemic brain. However, there is no information available about whether human albumin can prevent loss of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) expression of dopaminergic (DA) neurons induced by 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) toxicity that is most commonly used to create a rat model of Parkinson's disease (PD). In the present study, two microliters of 1.25% human albumin were stereotaxically injected into the right striatum of rats one day before or 7 days after the 6-OHDA lesion in the same side. D-Amphetamine-induced rotational asymmetry was measured 7 days, 3 and 10 weeks after 6-OHDA lesion. We observed that intrastriatal administration of human albumin significantly reduced the degree of rotational asymmetry. The number of TH-immunoreactive neurons present in the substantia nigra was greater in 6-OHDA lesioned rats following human albumin-treatment than non-human albumin treatment. TH-immunoreactivity in the 6-OHDA-lesioned striatum was also significantly increased in the human albumin-treated rats. To examine the mechanisms underlying the effects of human albumin, we challenged PC12 cells with 6-OHDA as an in vitro model of PD. Incubation with human albumin prevented 6-OHDA-induced reduction of cell viability in PC12 cell cultures, as measured by MTT assay. Furthermore, human albumin reduced 6-OHDA-induced formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and apoptosis in cultured PC12 cells, as assessed by flow cytometry. Western blot analysis showed that human albumin inhibited 6-OHDA-induced activation of JNK, c-Jun, ERK, and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) signaling in PC12 cultures challenged with 6-OHDA. Human albumin may protect against 6-OHDA toxicity by influencing MAPK pathway followed by anti-ROS formation and anti-apoptosis.