Activation of tyrosine kinase receptor signaling pathway by rasagiline facilitates neurorescue and restoration of nigrostriatal dopamine neurons in post-MPTP-induced parkinsonism
Sagi Y, Mandel S, Amit T, Youdim MB.
Eve Topf and USA National Parkinson Foundation,
Centers of Excellence for Neurodegenerative Diseases Research and Department of Pharmacology,
Technion-Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, P.O.B. 9697,
31096 Haifa, Israel.
Neurobiol Dis. 2006 Oct 19;


The anti-Parkinson monoamine oxidase (MAO)-B inhibitor rasagiline (Azilect) was shown to possess neuroprotective activities, involving the induction of brain-derived- and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF, GDNF). Employing conventional neurochemical techniques, transcriptomics and proteomic screening tools combined with a biology-based clustering method, we show that rasagiline, given chronically post-MPTP (N-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine), exerts neurorescue/neurotrophic activity in mice midbrain dopamine neurons. Rasagiline induced 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 effector phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase (PI3K) protein. Confirmatory Western and immunohistochemical analyses indicated activation of the substrate of PI3K, Akt and phosphorylative inactivation of glycogen synthase kinase-3beta and Raf1. Thus, the activation of Ras-PI3K-Akt survival pathway may contribute to rasagiline-mediated neurorescue effect. It is interesting to determine whether a similar effect is seen in parkinsonian patients after long-term treatment with rasagiline.

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