A possible novel anti-inflammatory mechanism for the pharmacological prolyl hydroxylase inhibitor 3,4-dihydroxybenzoate: implications for use as a therapeutic for Parkinson's disease

Parkinsons Dis. 2012;2012:364684. doi: 10.1155/2012/364684. Epub 2012 May 14.


Parkinson's disease (PD) is an age-related neurodegenerative disorder characterized in part by the preferential loss of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons. Although the precise etiology of PD is unknown, accumulating evidence suggests that PD involves microglial activation that exerts neurotoxic effects through production of proinflammatory cytokines and increased oxidative and nitrosative stress. Thus, controlling microglial activation has been suggested as a therapeutic target for combating PD. Previously we demonstrated that pharmacological inhibition of a class of enzymes known as prolyl hydroxylases via 3,4-dihydroxybenzoate administration protected against MPTP-induced neurotoxicity, however the exact mechanisms involved were not elucidated. Here we show that this may be due to DHB's ability to inhibit microglial activation. DHB significantly attenuated LPS-mediated induction of nitric oxide synthase and pro-inflammatory cytokines in murine BV2 microglial cells in vitro in conjunction with reduced ROS production and activation of NFκB and MAPK pathways possibly due to up-regulation of HO-1 levels. HO-1 inhibition partially abrogates LPS-mediated NFκB activity and subsequent NO induction. In vivo, DHB pre-treatment suppresses microglial activation elicited by MPTP treatment. Our results suggest that DHB's neuroprotective properties could be due to its ability to dampen induction of microglial activation via induction of HO-1.