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J Neurochem. 2005 Apr;93(2):310-20.

CGS21680 attenuates symptoms of Huntington's disease in a transgenic mouse model.

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Institute of Life Sciences, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan.


Huntington's disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disease caused by a CAG trinucleotide expansion in exon 1 of the Huntingtin (Htt) gene. We show herein that in an HD transgenic mouse model (R6/2), daily administration of CGS21680 (CGS), an A(2A) adenosine receptor (A(2A)-R)-selective agonist, delayed the progressive deterioration of motor performance and prevented a reduction in brain weight. 3D-microMRI analysis revealed that CGS reversed the enlarged ventricle-to-brain ratio of R6/2 mice, with particular improvements in the left and right ventricles. (1)H-MRS showed that CGS significantly reduced the increased choline levels in the striatum. Immunohistochemical analyses further demonstrated that CGS reduced the size of ubiquitin-positive neuronal intranuclear inclusions (NIIs) in the striatum of R6/2 mice and ameliorated mutant Htt aggregation in a striatal progenitor cell line overexpressing mutant Htt with expanded polyQ. Moreover, chronic CGS treatment normalized the elevated blood glucose levels and reduced the overactivation of a major metabolic sensor [5'AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)] in the striatum of R6/2 mice. Since AMPK is a master switch for energy metabolism, modulation of energy dysfunction caused by the mutant Htt might contribute to the beneficial effects of CGS. Collectively, CGS is a potential drug candidate for the treatment of HD.

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