The major hallmark of Parkinson's disease (PD) is the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra (SN), which is responsible for the core motor symptoms of PD. Currently, there is no cure for PD, and its prevalence is increasing, prompting the search for novel neuroprotective treatments. Neuroinflammation is a core pathological process in PD, evident by increased inflammatory biomarkers in the SN and cerebrospinal fluid. Interestingly, epidemiological studies have reported a reduced risk of PD in users of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs compared to non-users, suggesting the neuroprotective potential of anti-inflammatory drugs. Therefore, this study aimed to: (1) test the efficacy of novel oral formulations of edaravone (EDR) and curcumin (CUR) (which possess anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties) to alleviate motor and non-motor symptoms, and associated pathology in the intrastriatal lipopolysaccharide (LPS) model of PD; (2) investigate the expression of proteins linked to familial PD and markers of autophagy in the intrastriatal LPS model treated with EDR and CUR. Fifty-two C57BL/6 mice were divided into 4 groups, namely; (1) control + vehicle; (2) LPS + vehicle; (3) LPS + EDR (made in vehicle) and (4) LPS + CUR (made in vehicle). 10 μg of LPS was administered stereotaxically into the right striatum, and EDR and CUR treatments were initiated 2-weeks after the LPS injections. Behavioural tests were carried out at 4- and 8-weeks after LPS injection followed by tissue collection at 8-weeks. Intrastriatal administration of LPS induced motor deficits and anxiety-like behaviours at 4- and 8-weeks, which were accompanied by astroglial activation, increased protein expression of α-synuclein, heat shock cognate protein of 70 kDa (HSC-70) and Rab-10, and reduced levels of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) protein in the striatum. Additionally, LPS induced astroglial activation in the olfactory bulb, along with changes in the protein expression of HSC-70. The changes associated with EDR and CUR in the striatum and olfactory bulb were not statistically significant compared to the LPS group. Intrastriatal administration of LPS induced pathological changes of PD such as motor deficits, reduced expression of TH protein and increased α-synuclein protein, as well as some alterations in proteins linked to familial PD and autophagy in the olfactory bulb and striatum, without pronounced therapeutic effects of EDR and CUR. Our results may suggest that EDR and CUR lack therapeutic effects when administered after the disease process was already initiated. Thus, our treatment regimen or the physicochemical properties of EDR and CUR could be further refined to elevate the therapeutic effects of these formulations.
Keywords: Parkinson's disease; autophagy; curcumin; edaravone; intrastriatal lipopolysaccharide; neuroinflammation; olfactory bulb; striatum.
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by IMR Press.