Indexed on: 20 Dec '18Published on: 20 Dec '18Published in: Cell Death Discovery
Aging is a complex biological process and environmental risk factors like pesticide exposure have been implicated in the increased incidence of age-related neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's disease (PD) but the etiology remains unknown. There is also lack of a proper animal model system to study the progressive effect of these environmental toxins on age-associated neurodegeneration. In this study, we established a drosophila model of aging to study the age-dependent vulnerability to the environmental toxin rotenone that has been implicated in sporadic cases of PD. We demonstrate that age plays a determining role in the increased susceptibility to chronic rotenone exposure that is accompanied by severe locomotor deficits, decreased lifespan and loss of dopaminergic (DA) neurons. Chronic low dose exposure to rotenone results in the rapid induction of the neurodegenerative molecule SARM1/dSarm. Further, the age-dependent dSarm induction is accompanied by a heightened inflammatory response (increased expression of and ) that is independent of reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation in the observed rotenone-induced neurotoxicity. dSarm induction and subsequent locomotor deficits is reversed in the presence of the anti-inflammatory molecule resveratrol. Thus, dSarm and heightened inflammatory responses may play a crucial role in age-dependent vulnerability to the pesticide rotenone thus making it an attractive target to help develop cost-effective therapeutic strategies to prevent ongoing dopaminergic neuronal loss as seen in PD.