Oxytocin Alleviates MPTP-Induced Neurotoxicity in Mice by Targeting MicroRNA-26a/Death-Associated Protein Kinase 1 Pathway

Hasan A M M Almansoub, Hui Tang, Ying Wu, Ding-Qi Wang, Yacoubou Abdoul Razak Mahaman, Maibouge Tanko Mahamane Salissou, Youming Lu, Fan Hu, Lan-Ting Zhou, Yusra A M Almansob, Dan Liu
Journal of Alzheimer's Disease: JAD 2020, 74 (3): 883-901
Neurotoxicity is one of the major pathological changes in multiple neurological disorders, including Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD), the second popular neurodegenerative disease in aged people. It is known that the AD and PD share the similar neuropathological hallmarks, such as the oxidative stress, loss of specific neurons, and aggregation of specific proteins. However, there are no effective therapeutic drugs for both AD and PD yet. Oxytocin (OXT) is a small peptide with 9 amino acids that is neuroprotective to many neurological disorders. Whether OXT administration confers neuroprotection to 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1, 2, 3, 6- tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-induced neurotoxicity in mice are still not known. In this study, we first found that the OXT levels are decreased in MPTP mice. Supplementation with OXT effectively rescues the locomotor disabilities and anxiety-like behaviors in MPTP mice. OXT also alleviates the hyperphosphorylation of α-synuclein at S129 site and the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta, as well as the oxidative stress in the MPTP mice, and alleviates both oxidative stress and cell cytotoxicity in vitro. Furthermore, we found that OXT could inhibit the miR-26a/DAPK1 signal pathway in MPTP mice. In summary, our study demonstrates protective effects of OXT in MPTP mice and that miR-26a/DAPK1 signaling pathway may play an important role in mediating the protection of OXT.

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