Astaxanthin is neuroprotective in an aged mouse model of Parkinson's disease. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Astaxanthin is neuroprotective in an aged mouse model of Parkinson's disease.
Oncotarget. 2018 Feb 13 ;9(12):10388-10401. Epub 2017 Dec 28. PMID: 29535814
Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder and prevalence increases with age. Normal physiological changes that occur during the aging process reflect the pathological characteristics of Parkinson's disease. It is also recognized that age related changes significantly interact with the pathological mechanisms that underlie the neurodegeneration in PD and perpetuate the disease process. Despite the fact that aging is considered to be a primary risk factor for developing PD, the use of aged animal models are still under-utilized in pre-clinical research, thus reducing the translatability of experimental findings. Here, we use a natural compound astaxanthin (AXT) with multiple biological activities to attenuate neurotoxicity in a mouse model of Parkinson's disease in both young and aged mice. We observed that AXT preserved neurons in the substantia nigra of both young and aged mice that were exposed to the MPTP neurotoxin. However, AXT was less efficacious in the aged animals, as AXT was not able to protect against the MPTP induced loss of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) throughout the aged nigro-striatal circuit. This disparity in the neuroprotective effect of AXT suggests that aging is a critical factor to consider during the development of novel therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases and should be more rigorously evaluated in preclinical models.