Scorpion venom heat-resistant synthetic peptide protects dopamine neurons against 6-hydroxydopamine neurotoxicity in C. elegans

Brain Res Bull. 2022 Nov;190:195-203. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2022.09.022. Epub 2022 Sep 30.


Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disease. The main pathological feature is the degeneration and loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra, which leads to the significant decrease of dopamine content in the striatum. Our recent studies have shown that scorpion venom heat-resistant synthetic peptide (SVHRSP) have protective effects on neuroinflammation. In this study, using C. elegans induced by 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) as neurodegenerative model, we investigated the effect of SVHRSP on dopaminergic neurons neurotoxicity. Our results implied that SVHRSP treatment could improve the motor capacity in 6-OHDA-induced C. elegans and improve dopaminergic neuron mediated food sensitivity behavior. After SVHRSP treatment, dopaminergic neuron degeneration induced by 6-OHDA was significantly prevented along with a decreased α-synuclein aggregation and restored lipid deposition in C. elegans induced by 6-OHDA. We also observed the reduced levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) after SVHRSP treatment in model-building C. elegans. In addition, the genes related to apoptosis, oxidative stress, like ctl-1, egl-1and cat-2 in C. elegans induced by 6-OHDA upregulated after treatment with SVHRSP. In conclusion, SVHRSP may impose anti-PD effect through its neuroprotective action on dopaminergic neurons. This study elucidates the effect and related mechanism of SVHRSP on PD and provides evidences for the therapeutic treatment of PD.

Keywords: C. elegans(1); Parkinson's disease (3),6-hydroxydopamine (4); SVHRSP (2).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dopamine / pharmacology
  • Dopaminergic Neurons
  • Hot Temperature
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases* / pathology
  • Neuroprotective Agents* / pharmacology
  • Neuroprotective Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Neurotoxicity Syndromes*
  • Oxidopamine / toxicity
  • Parkinson Disease* / drug therapy
  • Peptides / pharmacology
  • Scorpion Venoms* / pharmacology
  • Scorpion Venoms* / therapeutic use


  • Oxidopamine
  • Scorpion Venoms
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Dopamine
  • Peptides