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J Oleo Sci. 2013;62(1):21-8.

Effects of squalene/squalane on dopamine levels, antioxidant enzyme activity, and fatty acid composition in the striatum of Parkinson's disease mouse model.

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Department of Health Sciences, Kagawa Prefectural University of Health Sciences, Takamatsu, Japan.


Active oxygen has been implicated in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD); therefore, antioxidants have attracted attention as a potential way to prevent this disease. Squalene, a natural triterpene and an intermediate in the biosynthesis of cholesterol, is known to have active oxygen scavenging activities. Squalane, synthesized by complete hydrogenation of squalene, does not have active oxygen scavenging activities. We examined the effects of oral administration of squalene or squalane on a PD mouse model, which was developed by intracerebroventricular injection of 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA). Squalene administration 7 days before and 7 days after one 6-OHDA injection prevented a reduction in striatal dopamine (DA) levels, while the same administration of squalane enhanced the levels. Neither squalene nor squalane administration for 7 days changed the levels of catalase, glutathione peroxidase, or superoxide dismutase activities in the striatum. Squalane increased thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, a marker of lipid peroxidation, in the striatum. Both squalane and squalene increased the ratio of linoleic acid/linolenic acid in the striatum. These results suggest that the administration of squalene or squalane induces similar changes in the composition of fatty acids and has no effect on the activities of active oxygen scavenging enzymes in the striatum. However, squalane increases oxidative damage in the striatum and exacerbates the toxicity of 6-OHDA, while squalene prevents it. The effects of squalene or squalane treatment in this model suggest their possible uses and risks in the treatment of PD.

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