Parkinson's disease (PD), the second most common age-related progressive neurodegenerative disorder, is characterized by dopamine depletion and the loss of dopaminergic (DA) neurons with accompanying neuroinflammation. Zonisamide is an-anti-convulsant drug that has recently been shown to improve clinical symptoms of PD through its inhibition of monoamine oxidase B (MAO-B). However, zonisamide has additional targets, including voltage-gated sodium channels (Nav), which may contribute to its reported neuroprotective role in preclinical models of PD. Here, we report that Nav1.6 is highly expressed in microglia of post-mortem PD brain and of mice treated with the parkinsonism-inducing neurotoxin MPTP. Administration of zonisamide (20 mg/kg, i.p. every 4 h × 3) following a single injection of MPTP (12.5 mg/kg, s.c.) reduced microglial Nav 1.6 and microglial activation in the striatum, as indicated by Iba-1 staining and mRNA expression of F4/80. MPTP increased the levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-α and gp91phox, and this was significantly reduced by zonisamide. Together, these findings suggest that zonisamide may reduce neuroinflammation through the down-regulation of microglial Nav 1.6. Thus, in addition to its effects on parkinsonian symptoms through inhibition of MAO-B, zonisamide may have disease modifying potential through the inhibition of Nav 1.6 and neuroinflammation.
- Parkinson's disease
- Voltage-gated sodium channels
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Neuroscience