Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by the loss of dopaminergic (DA) neurons and the accumulation of Lewy bodies (LB) in the substantia nigra (SN). Evidence shows that microglia-mediated neuroinflammation plays a key role in PD pathogenesis. Using TNF-α as an indicator for microglial activation, we established a cellular model to screen compounds that could inhibit neuroinflammation. From 2471 compounds in a small molecular compound library composed of FDA-approved drugs, we found 77 candidates with a significant anti-inflammatory effect. In this study, we further characterized pazopanib, a pan-VEGF receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor (that was approved by the FDA for the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma and advanced soft tissue sarcoma). We showed that pretreatment with pazopanib (1, 5, 10 μM) dose-dependently suppressed LPS-induced BV2 cell activation evidenced by inhibiting the transcription of proinflammatory factors iNOS, COX2, Il-1β, and Il-6 through the MEK4-JNK-AP-1 pathway. The conditioned medium from LPS-treated microglia caused mouse DA neuronal MES23.5 cell damage, which was greatly attenuated by pretreatment of the microglia with pazopanib. We established an LPS-stimulated mouse model by stereotactic injection of LPS into mouse substantia nigra. Administration of pazopanib (10 mg·kg-1·d-1, i.p., for 10 days) exerted significant anti-inflammatory and neuronal protective effects, and improved motor abilities impaired by LPS in the mice. Together, we discover a promising candidate compound for anti-neuroinflammation and provide a potential repositioning of pazopanib in the treatment of PD.
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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 32271039, 32070970, and 31970966), the Joint Program RFBR-BRICS (No. 17-54-80006) and a Project Funded by the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions.
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Sun, Hy., Wu, J., Wang, R. et al. Pazopanib alleviates neuroinflammation and protects dopaminergic neurons in LPS-stimulated mouse model by inhibiting MEK4-JNK-AP-1 pathway. Acta Pharmacol Sin 44, 1135–1148 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41401-022-01030-1
- Parkinson’s disease
- MEK4-JNK-AP-1 pathway
- drug repositioning
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