The progressive debilitation of motor functions in Parkinson's disease (PD) results from degeneration of dopaminergic neurons within the substantia nigra pars compacta of the midbrain. Long-term inflammatory activation of microglia and astrocytes plays a central role in the progression of PD and is characterized by activation of the nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) signaling cascade and subsequent overproduction of inflammatory cytokines and nitric oxide (NO). Suppression of this neuroin-flammatory phenotype has received considerable attention as a potential target for chemotherapy, but there are no currently approved drugs that sufficiently address this problem. The data presented here demonstrate the efficacy of a novel anti-inflammatory diindolylmethane class compound, 1,1-bis(3′-indolyl)-1-p-t-butylphenyl) methane (DIM-C-pPhtBu), in suppressing NF-κB-dependent expression of inducible nitric-oxide synthase (NOS2) and NO production in astrocytes exposed to the parkinsonian neurotoxicant 1-methyl-4-phenyl- 1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) through a mechanism distinct from that described for the thiazolidinedione-class compound, rosiglitazone. Chromatin immunoprecipitations revealed that micromolar concentrations of DIM-C-pPhtBu prevented association of the p65 subunit of NF-κB with enhancer elements in the Nos2 promoter but had little effect on DNA binding of either peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPAR-γ)orthe nuclear corepressor NCoR2. Treatment with DIM-C-pPhtBu concomitantly suppressed NO production and protein nitration in MPTP-activated astrocytes and completely protected cocul- tured primary striatal neurons from astrocyte-dependent apoptosis. These data demonstrate the efficacy of DIM-C-pPhtBu in preventing the activation of NF-κB-dependent inflammatory genes in primary astrocytes and suggest that this class of compounds may be effective neuroprotective anti-inflammatory agents in vivo.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine