The aim of the present study was to explore the neuroprotective effects and mechanisms of action of dl-3-n-butylphthalide (NBP) in a 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridiniumion (MPP(+))-induced cellular model of Parkinson's disease (PD). NBP was extracted from seeds of Apium graveolens Linn. (Chinese celery). MPP(+) treatment of PC12 cells caused reduced viability, formation of reactive oxygen, and disruption of mitochondrial membrane potential. Our results indicated that NBP reduced the cytotoxicity of MPP(+) by suppressing the mitochondrial permeability transition, reducing oxidative stress, and increasing the cellular GSH content. NBP also reduced the accumulation of alpha-synuclein, the main component of Lewy bodies. Given that NBP is safe and currently used in clinical trials for stroke patients, NBP will likely be a promising chemical for the treatment of PD.
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