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Neuroprotective effects of geniposide in the MPTP mouse model of Parkinson's disease

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>5/12/2015
<mark>Journal</mark>European Journal of Pharmacology
Volume768
Number of pages7
Pages (from-to)21-27
Publication statusPublished
Early online date25/09/15
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a chronic neurodegenerative disease, and there is no cure for it at present. We tested the drug Geniposide, an active component of Gardenia jasminoides Ellis which is used in traditional Chinese medicine. Geniposide has shown neuroprotective and growth-factor like effects in several in vivo and in vitro studies. In the present study, Geniposide had been tested in an acute PD mouse model induced by four 1-Methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) intraperitoneal injections. Geniposide treatment (100 mg/kg ip.) for 8 days after MPTP treatment (30 mg/kg ip.) improved the locomotor and exploratory activity of mice (open field), and improved bradykinesia and movement balance of mice (rotarod, swim test). Geniposide treatment also restored tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) positive dopaminergic neuron numbers in the substantia nigra pars compacta. Drug treatment also increased levels of growth factor signaling molecule Bax and reduced the apoptosis signaling molecule Bcl-2. Caspase 3 activation was also reduced in the substantia nigra. We conclude that Geniposide exerted its neuroprotective effect by enhancing growth factor signaling and the reduction of apoptosis. Geniposide is an ingredient in Chinese traditional medicine with few known side effects and shows potential as a drug treatment for Parkinson's disease.