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Free Radic Biol Med. 2011 Jul 1;51(1):88-96. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2011.03.027. Epub 2011 Mar 30.

Neuroprotective effect of Nrf2/ARE activators, CDDO ethylamide and CDDO trifluoroethylamide, in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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1
Department of Neurology and Neuroscience, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY 10065, USA.

Abstract

Oxidative damage, neuroinflammation, and mitochondrial dysfunction contribute to the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and these pathologic processes are tightly regulated by the Nrf2/ARE (NF-E2-related factor 2/antioxidant response element) signaling program. Therefore, modulation of the Nrf2/ARE pathway is an attractive therapeutic target for neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS. We examined two triterpenoids, CDDO (2-cyano-3,12-dioxooleana-1,9-dien-28-oic acid) ethylamide and CDDO trifluoroethylamide (CDDO-TFEA), that potently activate Nrf2/ARE in a cell culture model of ALS and in the G93A SOD1 mouse model of ALS. Treatment of NSC-34 cells stably expressing mutant G93A SOD1 with CDDO-TFEA upregulated Nrf2 expression and resulted in translocation of Nrf2 into the nucleus. Western blot analysis showed an increase in the expression of Nrf2/ARE-regulated proteins. When treatment started at a "presymptomatic age" of 30days, both of these compounds significantly attenuated weight loss, enhanced motor performance, and extended the survival of G93A SOD1 mice. Treatment started at a "symptomatic age," as assessed by impaired motor performance, was neuroprotective and slowed disease progression. These findings provide further evidence that compounds that activate the Nrf2/ARE signaling pathway may be useful in the treatment of ALS.

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