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Brain Res. 2005 Dec 20;1066(1-2):78-85. Epub 2005 Dec 1.

Protective effects of nicergoline against neuronal cell death induced by activated microglia and astrocytes.

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  • 1Department of Neuroimmunology, Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Chikusa, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan.


We examined the neuroprotective role of nicergoline in neuron-microglia or neuron-astrocytes co-cultures. Nicergoline, an ergoline derivative, significantly suppressed the neuronal cell death induced by co-culture with activated microglia or astrocytes stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and interferon (IFN)-gamma. To elucidate the mechanism by which nicergoline exerts a neuroprotective effect, we examined the production of inflammatory mediators and neurotrophic factors in activated microglia and astrocytes following nicergoline treatment. In microglia stimulated with LPS and IFN-gamma, nicergoline suppressed the production of superoxide anions, interleukin (IL)-1beta, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha in a dose-dependent manner. In astrocytes, nicergoline also suppressed the production of proinflammatory cytokines and enhanced brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Thus, nicergoline-mediated neuroprotection resulted primarily from the inhibition of inflammatory mediators and the upregulation of neurotrophic factors by glial cells.

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