The effects of capsaicin (CAP), a transient receptor potential vanilloid subtype 1 (TRPV1) agonist, were determined on nigrostriatal dopamine (DA) neurons in the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) mouse model of Parkinson's disease (PD). The results showed that TRPV1 activation by CAP rescued nigrostriatal DA neurons, enhanced striatal DA functions and improved behavioral recovery in MPTP-treated mice. CAP neuroprotection was associated with reduced expression of proinflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-1β) and reactive oxygen species/reactive nitrogen species from activated microglia-derived NADPH oxidase, inducible nitric oxide synthase or reactive astrocyte-derived myeloidperoxidase. These beneficial effects of CAP were reversed by treatment with the TRPV1 antagonists capsazepine and iodo-resiniferatoxin, indicating TRPV1 involvement. This study demonstrates that TRPV1 activation by CAP protects nigrostriatal DA neurons via inhibition of glial activation-mediated oxidative stress and neuroinflammation in the MPTP mouse model of PD. These results suggest that CAP and its analogs may be beneficial therapeutic agents for the treatment of PD and other neurodegenerative disorders that are associated with neuroinflammation and glial activation-derived oxidative damage.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Medicine
- Molecular Biology
- Clinical Biochemistry