Neuroprotective effect of rasagiline, a monoamine oxidase-B inhibitor, on spontaneous cell degeneration in a rat model
Eliash S, Shteter N, Eilam R.
Sackler School of Medicine,
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology,
Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, Israel.
J Neural Transm. 2005 Mar 15


Spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) pathologically elevate blood pressure with age. This elevation is accompanied by specific neuronal degeneration in the hypothalamus and enlargement of the lateral ventricles. The aim of this study was to assess the neuroprotective effect of the monoamine oxidase B (MAO-B) inhibitor, rasagiline on paraventricular (PVN) hypothalamic degeneration in SHR. The S-enantiomer of rasagiline, S-PAI, a much weaker MAO inhibitor, and two antihypertensive drugs, captopril and hydralazine were also tested. Normotensive Wistar Kyoto (WKY) rats served as controls. One month-old SHR or WKY rats were treated daily for 3-4 months. Systolic blood pressure was recorded, parvocellular vasopressin (VP) immunopositive cells were counted and the area of the third ventricle measured. In saline-treated SHR, blood pressure rose significantly and the number of VP parvocellular cells was reduced by about 60% relative to WKY. Rasagiline, 1 mg/kg/day, reduced PVN neuronal cell death in SHR up to 112% relative to saline-treated SHR; 0.3 mg/kg/day exerted a smaller but significant effect. These actions were accompanied by parallel reductions in systolic blood pressure. Captoril, hydralazine and S-PAI did not prevent death of VP neurons. In SHR, the volume of the third ventricle was about double that of WKY. Rasagiline significantly prevented this ventricular dilation. These results indicate than rasagiline protects from cell death in an in vivo animal model in a dose-dependant manner and could be of use as a neuroprotector in the central nervous system.

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