The main symptom of Parkinson’s disease (PD) is motor dysfunction and remarkably approximately 30-40% of PD patients exhibit cognitive impairments. Recently, we have developed MF8, a heart-type fatty acid-binding protein (FABP3)-specific ligand, which can inhibit α-synuclein (α-syn) oligomerization induced by arachidonic acid in FABP3 overexpressing neuro2A cells. The present study aimed to determine whether MF8 attenuates dopaminergic neuronal death and motor and cognitive impairments in 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-induced PD mice model. MF8 can penetrate the blood-brain barrier and its peak brain concentration (21.5 ± 2.1 nM) was achieved 6 h after the oral administration (1.0 mg/kg). We also compared its effects and pharmacological action with those of L-DOPA (3,4-dihydroxy-l-phenylalanine). PD model mice were developed by administering MPTP (25 mg/kg, i.p.) once a day for five consecutive days. Twenty-four hours after the final MPTP injection, mice were administered MF8 (0.3, 1.0 mg/kg, p.o.) or L-DOPA (25 mg/kg, i.p.) once a day for 28 consecutive days and subjected to behavioral and histochemical studies. MF8 (1.0 mg/kg, p.o.), but not L-DOPA, inhibited the dopaminergic neuronal death in the ventral tegmental area and the substantia nigra pars compacta region of the MPTP-treated mice. MF8 also improved both, motor and cognitive functions, while L-DOPA ameliorated only motor dysfunction. Taken together, our results showed that MF8 attenuated the MPTP-induced dopaminergic neuronal death associated with PD pathology. We present MF8 as a novel disease-modifying therapeutic molecule for PD, which acts via a mechanism different from that of L-DOPA.Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Inc.
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