Neuroprotective Effects of Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles in a Rotenone-Induced Mouse Model of Parkinson's Disease

Nanotheranostics. 2024 Jun 8;8(4):497-505. doi: 10.7150/ntno.95863. eCollection 2024.


Goals of the investigation: This work aimed to evaluate the neuroprotective effects of zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles in an experimental mouse model of rotenone-induced PD and investigate the therapeutic effects of ZnO, cobalt ferrite nanoparticles, and their combination. Methods: The levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, and serotonin were assessed using ELISA in the control and experimental model of PD mice. The dopa-decarboxylase expression level was assayed by real-time PCR. The expression level of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) was assessed by western blot analysis. Results: Our data showed that levels of dopamine decreased in PD mice compared to normal. ZnO NP increased dopamine levels in normal and PD mice (37.5% and 29.5%; respectively, compared to untreated mice). However, ZnO NP did not cause any change in norepinephrine and epinephrine levels either in normal or in PD mice. Levels of serotonin decreased by 64.0%, and 51.1% in PD mice treated with cobalt ferrite and dual ZnO- cobalt ferrite NPs; respectively, when compared to PD untreated mice. The mRNA levels of dopa-decarboxylase increased in both normal and PD mice treated with ZnO NP. Its level decreased when using cobalt ferrite NP and the dual ZnO-cobalt ferrite NP when compared to untreated PD mice. A significant decrease in TH expression by 0.25, 0.68, and 0.62 folds was observed in normal mice treated with ZnO, cobalt ferrite, and the dual ZnO-cobalt ferrite NP as compared to normal untreated mice. In PD mice, ZnO administration caused a non-significant 0.15-fold decrease in TH levels while both cobalt ferrite and the dual ZnO-cobalt ferrite NP administration caused a significant 0.3 and 0.4-fold decrease respectively when compared to untreated PD mice. Principal conclusion: This study reveals that ZnO NPs may be utilized as a potential intervention to elevate dopamine levels to aid in PD treatment.

Keywords: Cobalt Ferrite Nanoparticles; NPs; Neurotransmitters; Parkinson Disease; ZnO Nanoparticles.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cobalt / pharmacology
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Dopamine / metabolism
  • Ferric Compounds / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry
  • Neuroprotective Agents* / pharmacology
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy
  • Parkinson Disease / metabolism
  • Rotenone*
  • Zinc Oxide* / chemistry
  • Zinc Oxide* / pharmacology


  • Zinc Oxide
  • Rotenone
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Ferric Compounds
  • cobalt ferrite
  • Dopamine
  • Cobalt