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PLoS One. 2016 Feb 22;11(2):e0148170. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0148170. eCollection 2016.

Neuroprotective Effect of a DJ-1 Based Peptide in a Toxin Induced Mouse Model of Multiple System Atrophy.

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Sagol School of Neuroscience, Tel-Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.
Felsenstein Medical Research Center, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Petach Tikva, Israel.


Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) is a sporadic neurodegenerative disorder characterized by parkinsonism, cerebellar ataxia and dysautonomia, in various combinations. In MSA with parkinsonism (MSA-P), the degeneration is mainly restricted to the substantia nigra pars compacta and putamen. Studies have identified alterations in DJ-1 (PARK7), a key component of the anti-oxidative stress response, in Parkinson's disease (PD) and MSA patients. Previously we have shown that a short DJ-1-based peptide named ND-13, protected cultured cells against neurotoxic insults and improved behavioral outcome in animal models of Parkinson's disease (PD). In this study, we used the 3-Nitropropionic acid (3-NP)-induced mouse model of MSA and treated the animals with ND-13 in order to evaluate its therapeutic effects. Our results show that ND-13 protects cultured cells against oxidative stress generated by the mitochondrial inhibitor, 3-NP. Moreover, we show that ND-13 attenuates nigrostriatal degeneration and improves performance in motor-related behavioral tasks in 3-NP-treated mice. Our findings suggest a rationale for using ND-13 as a promising therapeutic approach for treatment of MSA.

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