Safranal-promoted differentiation and survival of dopaminergic neurons in an animal model of Parkinson's disease
Zhao, Y.; Xi, G.
Pharmaceutical Biology 56(1): 450-454
ISSN/ISBN: 1388-0209 PMID: 30354840 DOI: 10.1080/13880209.2018.1501705
Safranal (SAF) is verified to have potential effects in promoting nerve growth. This study verifies the role of SAF in promoting dopaminergic neurons growth in vitro and in vivo. Rat neural stem cells (NSC) were treated with 1, 20, or 100 ng/mL of SAF, and the expression levels of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and dopamine transporter (DAT) were assayed by flow cytometry and real-time PCR and the secretion of dopamine (DA) was assayed by ELISA. Then, 2 × 106 cells of SAF-treated NSC was administrated into PD rat models induced by 6-OHDA. The differentiation and survival of dopaminergic neurons was identified by fluorescence microscope and TH+ cells by immunostaining and DA secretion by ELISA at week 2 and week 4, respectively. After being treated with SAF at 20 and 100 ng/mL for 1 week, TH and DAT positive rates increased 1.4- and 1.7-fold (p < 0.01, respectively). TH and DAT mRNA also increased 8.05- and 4.41-fold, respectively. And the release of DA statistically increased 1.5-fold (p < 0.01). In vivo, the number of rotations decreased to 4.33 ± 0.97 rpm (p < 0.01) and the survival rates increased to 77.66 ± 7.87% (p < 0.05) at week 4 after transplantation of SAF-treated NSC. Moreover, the transplanted cells increased three-fold, TH fluorescence density increased four-fold and DA releases increased 1.4-fold (p < 0.01) at week 4 after transplantation. SAF promoted the production of functional DA cells and alleviated PD, which may contribute to a new therapy for PD patients.