Objective: To evaluate the neuroprotective effect of the nootropic drugs, piracetam (PIR) and vinpocetine (VIN), in rotenone-induced Parkinsonism in rats.
Materials and methods: Sixty male rats were divided into 6 groups of 10 rats each. The groups were administered vehicle, control (rotenone, 1.5 mg/kg/48 h/6 doses, s.c.), PIR (100 and 200 mg/kg/day, p.o.) and VIN (3 and 6 mg/kg/day, p.o.). The motor performance of the rats was evaluated by the open field and pole test. Striatal dopamine level, malondialdehyde (MDA), reduced glutathione (GSH) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) were assayed. Histopathological study of the substantia nigra was also done.
Results: Results showed that rotenone-treated rats exhibited bradykinesia and motor impairment in the open-field test. In addition, GSH level was decreased whereas MDA and TNF-α increased in striata of rotenone-treated rats as compared to vehicle-treated rats. Marked degeneration of the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) neurons and depletion of striatal dopamine was also observed in the rotenone-treated rats. Treatment with PIR or VIN significantly reversed the locomotor deficits and increased striatal dopamine level. Treatment with VIN significantly (P<0.05) reduced the striatal level of MDA and GSH in comparison to rotenone group whereas TNF-α production was found to be significantly decreased in PIR group (P<0.05).
Conclusion: VIN and PIR exhibit neuroprotective activity in rotenone-induced Parkinsonism. Hence, these nootropic agents may be considered as possible candidates in the treatment of Parkinson's disease.
Keywords: Dopamine; Parkinson's disease; piracetam; rotenone; vinpocetine.