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Neuropsychopharmacology. 2007 Dec;32(12):2570-80. Epub 2007 Mar 14.

Iptakalim alleviates rotenone-induced degeneration of dopaminergic neurons through inhibiting microglia-mediated neuroinflammation.

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Laboratory of Neuropharmacology, Department of Anatomy, Histology and Pharmacology, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, PR China.


Inhibition of microglia-mediated neuroinflammation has been regarded as a prospective strategy for treating neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson's disease (PD). In the present study, we demonstrated that systematic administration with iptakalim (IPT), an adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-sensitive potassium channel (K(ATP)) opener, could alleviate rotenone-induced degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in rat substantia nigra along with the downregulation of microglial activation and mRNA levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). In rat primary cultured microglia, pretreatment with IPT suppressed rotenone-induced microglial activation evidenced by inhibition of microglial amoeboid morphological alteration, declined expression of ED1 (a marker for activated microglia), and decreased production of TNF-alpha and prostaglandin E2 (PGE(2)). These inhibitory effects of IPT could be reversed by selective mitochondrial K(ATP) (mitoK(ATP)) channel blocker 5-hydroxydecanoate (5-HD). Furthermore, pretreatment with IPT prevented rotenone-induced mitochondrial membrane potential loss and p38/c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activation in microglia, which might in turn regulate microglial activation and subsequent production of TNF-alpha and PGE(2). These data strongly suggest that the K(ATP) opener IPT may be a novel and promising neuroprotective drug via inhibiting microglia-mediated neuroinflammation.

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