Schisandrin A (Sch A) is one of the principal bioactive lignans isolated from Fructus schisandrae. In this study, we demonstrated its protective effect and biochemical mechanism of action in a 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1, 2, 3, 6-tetrahydropyridine-induced mouse model of Parkinson's disease. Sch A significantly ameliorated behavioural abnormalities and increased the number of nigral dopaminergic neurons detected by tyrosine hydroxylase immunohistochemistry. Pre-treatment with Sch A significantly decreased the levels of the inflammatory mediators IL-6, IL-1β, and TNF-α and markedly improved antioxidant defences by inhibiting the activity of MDA and increasing that of SOD. Furthermore, Sch A activated expression of the autophagy-related proteins LC3-II, beclin1, parkin, and PINK1 and increased mTOR expression. Taken together, these findings indicate that Sch A has neuroprotective effects against the development of Parkinson's disease via regulation of brain autophagy.
Keywords: Autophagy; LC3-II; Parkinson’s disease; Schizandrin A.