Fucoidan Protects Dopaminergic Neurons by Enhancing the Mitochondrial Function in a Rotenone-induced Rat Model of Parkinson's Disease.
Aging Dis. 2018 Aug ;9(4):590-604. Epub 2018 Aug 1. PMID: 30090649
The mitochondrion is susceptible to neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease (PD). Mitochondrial dysfunction has been considered to play an important role in the dopaminergic degeneration in PD. However, there are no effective drugs to protect mitochondria from dysfunction during the disease development. In the present study, fucoidan, a sulfated polysaccharide derived from, was investigated and characterized for its protective effect on the dopamine system and mitochondrial function of dopaminergic neurons in a rotenone-induced rat model of PD. We found that chronic treatment with fucoidan significantly reversed the loss of nigral dopaminergic neurons and striatal dopaminergic fibers and the reduction of striatal dopamine levels in PD rats. Fucoidan also alleviated rotenone-induced behavioral deficits. Moreover, the mitochondrial respiratory function as detected by the mitochondrial oxygen consumption and the expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1-alpha (PGC-1α) and nuclear transcription factor 2 (NRF2) were reduced in the substantia nigra of PD rats, which were markedly reversed by fucoidan. Oxidative products induced by rotenone were significantly reduced by fucoidan. Taken together, these results demonstrate that fucoidan possesses the ability to protect the dopamine system in PD rats. The neuroprotective effect of fucoidan may be mediated via reserving mitochondrial function involving the PGC-1α/NRF2 pathway. This study provides new evidence that fucoidan can be explored in PD therapy.