Zonisamide reduces nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurodegeneration in a mouse genetic model of Parkinson's disease

Hiromi Sano, Miho Murata, Atsushi Nambu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a chronic neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the loss of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons and consequent motor dysfunction. Zonisamide (1,2-benzisoxazole-3-methanesulfonamide), which was originally developed as an antiepileptic drug, has been found to have therapeutic benefits for PD. However, the pharmacological mechanisms behind the beneficial actions of zonisamide in PD are not fully understood. Here, we investigated the neuroprotective effects of zonisamide on nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons of the Engrailed mutant mouse, a genetic model of PD. Chronic administration of zonisamide in Engrailed mutant mice was shown to improve the survival of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons compared with that under saline treatment. In addition, dopaminergic terminals in the striatum and the motor function were improved in zonisamide-treated Engrailed mutant mice to the levels of those in control mice. To clarify the mechanism behind the neuroprotective effects of zonisamide, the contents of neurotrophic factors were determined after chronic administration of zonisamide. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor content was increased in the striatum and ventral midbrain of the zonisamide-treated mice compared to saline-treated mice. These findings imply that zonisamide reduces nigrostriatal dopaminergic cell death through brain-derived neurotrophic factor signaling and may have similar beneficial effects in human parkinsonian patients as well. Zonisamide (ZNS), an antiepileptic drug, has therapeutic benefits for Parkinson's disease. Chronic ZNS administration improved the survival of dopaminergic neurons and motor function in a genetic mouse model of Parkinson's disease, and increased brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the brain. ZNS reduces dopaminergic cell death probably through BDNF signaling and may have similar beneficial effects in human parkinsonian patients. Zonisamide (ZNS), an antiepileptic drug, has therapeutic benefits for Parkinson's disease. Chronic ZNS administration improved the survival of dopaminergic neurons and motor function in a genetic mouse model of Parkinson's disease, and increased brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the brain. ZNS reduces dopaminergic cell death probably through BDNF signaling and may have similar beneficial effects in human parkinsonian patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-381
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of neurochemistry
Volume134
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01-07-2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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