Rasagiline promotes regeneration of substantia nigra dopaminergic neurons in post-MPTP-induced Parkinsonism via activation of tyrosine kinase receptor signaling pathway
Mandel SA, Sagi Y, Amit T.
Eve Topf Center of Excellence for Neurodegenerative Diseases Research,
Department of Pharmacology,
Technion-Rappaport Faculty of Medicine,
P.O. Box 9697, Haifa, 31096, Israel.
Neurochem Res. 2007 Oct;32(10):1694-9.


The anti-Parkinson drug rasagiline (Azilect), an irreversible and selective monoamine oxidase (MAO)-B inhibitor, was shown to possess neuroprotective activities, involving multiple survival pathways among them the up-regulation of protein kinase C (PKC)alpha, PKCepsilon, the anti-apoptotic Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, and Bcl-w and the induction of brain-derived- and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF, GDNF). More recently, employing conventional neurochemical techniques, as well as transcriptomic and proteomic screening tools, combined with a biology-based clustering method, it was shown that rasagiline also possesses neurorescue/neurogenesis activity in mice midbrain dopaminergic neurons when given chronically, post-MPTP (N-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine). This action was attributed to the activation of cell signaling mediators associated with neurotrophic factors responsive-tyrosine kinase receptor (Trk) pathway, including ShcC, SOS, AF6, Rin1, and Ras and the increase in the Trk-downstream effecter phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase (PI3K) protein and its substrate, Akt/PKB. It is interesting to determine whether a similar effect is seen in Parkinsonian patients after long-term treatment with rasagiline, which may have implications as a possible disease modifying agent.

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