Ethanol extract fromameliorates dopaminergic neuronal cell death in transgenic mice expressing mutant A53T human alpha-synuclein.
Neural Regen Res. 2020 Feb ;15(2):361-368. PMID: 31552910
Hyun Jin Park
Gynostemma (G.) pentaphyllum (Cucurbitaceae) contains various bioactive gypenosides. Ethanol extract from G. pentaphyllum (GP-EX) has been shown to have ameliorative effects on the death of dopaminergic neurons in animal models of Parkinson's disease (PD) induced by 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine- and 6-hydroxydopamine. PD patients exhibit multiple symptoms, so PD-related research should combine neurotoxin models with genetic models. In the present study, we investigated the ameliorative effects of GP-EX, including gypenosides, on the cell death of dopaminergic neurons in the midbrain of A53Tα-synuclein transgenic mouse models of PD (A53T). Both GP-EX and gypenosides at 50 mg/kg per day were orally administered to the A53T mice for 20 weeks. α-Synuclein-immunopositive cells and α-synuclein phosphorylation were increased in the midbrain of A53T mice, which was reduced following treatment with GP-EX. Treatment with GP-EX modulated the reduced phosphorylation of tyrosine hydroxylase, extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2), Bcl-2-associated death promoter (Bad) at Ser112, and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK1/2) due to α-synuclein overexpression. In the A53T group, GP-EX treatment prolonged the latency of the step-through passive avoidance test and shortened the transfer latency of the elevated plus maze test. Gypenosides treatment exhibited the effects and efficacy similar to those of GP-EX. Taken together, GP-EX, including gypenosides, has ameliorative effects on dopaminergic neuronal cell death due to the overexpression of α-synuclein by modulating ERK1/2, Bad at Ser112, and JNK1/2 signaling in the midbrain of A53T mouse model of PD. Further studies are needed to investigate GP-EX as a treatment for neurodegenerative synucleinopathies, including PD. This studywas approved by the Animal Ethics Committee of Chungbuk National University (approval No. CBNUA-956-16-01) on September 21, 2016.