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Metab Brain Dis. 2015 Oct;30(5):1217-26. doi: 10.1007/s11011-015-9698-5. Epub 2015 Jun 19.

Lipoic acid protects dopaminergic neurons in LPS-induced Parkinson's disease model.

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Department of Neurology, Institute of Brain Science, Medical School, Shanxi Datong University, Datong, China.


Parkinson's disease (PD) is a chronic neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system (CNS), characterized by a loss of dopaminergic neurons, which is thought to be caused by both genetic and environmental factors. Recent findings suggest that neuroinflammation may be a pathogenic factor in the onset and progression of sporadic PD. Here we explore the potential therapeutic effect of lipoic acid (LA) on a lipolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammatory PD model. Our results for the first time showed that LA administration improved motor dysfunction, protected dopaminergic neurons loss, and decreased α-synuclein accumulation in the substantia nigra (SN) area of brain. Further, LA inhibited the activation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and expression of pro-inflammatory molecules in M1 microglia. Taken together, these results suggest that LA may exert a profound neuroprotective effect and is thus a promising anti-neuroinflammatory and anti-oxidative agent for halting the progression of PD. Interventions aimed at either blocking microglia-derived inflammatory mediators or modulating the polarization of microglia may be potentially useful therapies that are worth further investigation.

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