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Daphnane Diterpenes from Daphne genkwa Activate Nurr1 and Have a Neuroprotective Effect in an Animal Model of Parkinson’s Disease

Han, Baek-Soo, Kim, Kyoung-Shim, Kim, Yu Jin, Jung, Hoe-Yune, Kang, Young-Mi, Lee, Kyu-Suk, Sohn, Mi-Jin, Kim, Chun-Hyung, Kim, Kwang-Soo, Kim, Won-Gon
Journal of natural products 2016 v.79 no.6 pp. 1604-1609
Daphne genkwa, Parkinson disease, animal models, brain, cell death, death, diterpenoids, inflammation, intraperitoneal injection, lipopolysaccharides, methanol, neurons, neuroprotective effect, roots, screening, small interfering RNA, stems, transcription (genetics), transcriptional activation, tyrosine 3-monooxygenase
Nurr1 is an orphan nuclear receptor that is essential for the differentiation and maintenance of dopaminergic neurons in the brain, and it is a therapeutic target for Parkinson’s disease (PD). During the screening for Nurr1 activators from natural sources using cell-based assay systems, a methanol extract of the combined stems and roots of Daphne genkwa was found to activate the transcriptional function of Nurr1 at a concentration of 3 μg/mL. The active components were isolated and identified as genkwanine N (1) and yuanhuacin (2). Both compounds 1 and 2 significantly enhanced the function of Nurr1 at 0.3 μM. Nurr1-specific siRNA abolished the activity of 1 and 2, strongly suggesting that transcriptional activation by 1 and 2 occurred through the modulation of Nurr1 function. Additionally, treatment with 1 and 2 inhibited 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-induced neuronal cell death and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced neuroinflammation. Moreover, in a 6-OHDA-lesioned rat model of PD, intraperitoneal administration of 2 (0.5 mg/kg/day) for 2 weeks significantly improved behavioral deficits and reduced tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-positive dopaminergic neuron death induced by 6-OHDA injection and had a beneficial effect on the inflammatory response in the brain. Accordingly, compounds 1 and 2, the first reported Nurr1 activators of natural origin, are potential lead compounds for the treatment of PD.