Parkinson’s disease (PD) is an age-related neurological disorder characterized by a loss of dopaminergic neurons within the midbrain. Neuroinflammation has been nominated as one of the key pathogenic features of PD. Recently, the inadequate pharmacotherapy and adverse effects of conventional drugs have spurred the development of unconventional medications in the treatment of PD. The purpose of this study is to investigate the anti-neuroinflammatory mechanisms of Atractylenolide-I (ATR-I) in in vivo and in vitro models of PD. Nitrite assay was measured via Griess reaction in lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulated BV-2 cells. mRNA and protein levels were determined by a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immunoblot analysis, respectively. Further, flow cytometry, immunocytochemistry, and immunohistochemistry were employed in BV-2 cells and MPTP-intoxicated C57BL6/J mice. Pre-treatment with ATR-I attenuated the inflammatory response in BV-2 cells by abating the nuclear translocation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and by inducing heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1). The intraperitoneal administration of ATR-I reversed MPTP-induced behavioral deficits, decreased microglial activation, and conferred protection to dopaminergic neurons in the mouse model of PD. Our experimental reports establish the involvement of multiple benevolent molecular events by ATR-I in MPTP-induced toxicity, which may aid in the development of ATR-I as a new therapeutic agent for the treatment of PD.
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