Lercanidipine boosts the efficacy of mesenchymal stem cell therapy in 3-NP-induced Huntington’s disease model rats via modulation of the calcium/calcineurin/NFATc4 and Wnt/β-catenin signalling pathways.
Neurochem Int. 2019 Sep 17:104548. doi: 10.1016/j.neuint.2019.104548. [Epub ahead of print]
Elbaz EM1, Helmy HS1, El-Sahar AE2, Saad MA3, Sayed RH4.
- Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.
- Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.
- Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt; School of Pharmacy, Newgiza University, Cairo, Egypt.
- Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt. Electronic address: [email protected]
3-Nitropropionic acid (3-NP) induces a spectrum of Huntington’s disease (HD)-like neuropathologies in the rat striatum. The present study aimed to demonstrate the neuroprotective effect of lercanidipine (LER) in rats with 3-NP-induced neurotoxicity, address the possible additional protective effect of combined treatment with bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) and LER, and investigate the possible involvement of the Ca2+/calcineurin (CaN)/nuclear factor of activated T cells c4 (NFATc4) and Wnt/β-catenin signalling pathways. Rats were injected with 3-NP (10 mg/kg/day, i.p.) for two weeks and were divided into four subgroups; the first served as the control HD group, the second received a daily dose of LER (0.5 mg/kg, i.p.), the third received a single injection of BM-MSCs (1 x 106/rat, i.v.) and the last received a combination of both BM-MSCs and LER. The combined therapy improved motor and behaviour performance. Meanwhile, this treatment led to a marked reduction in striatal cytosolic Ca2+, CaN, tumour necrosis factor-alpha, and NFATc4 expression and the Bax/Bcl2 ratio. Combined therapy also increased striatal brain-derived neurotrophic factor, FOXP3, Wnt, and β-catenin protein expression. Furthermore, haematoxylin-eosin and Nissl staining revealed an amelioration of striatum tissue injury with the combined treatment. In conclusion, the current study provides evidence for a neuroprotective effect of LER and/or BM-MSCs in 3-NP-induced neurotoxicity in rats. Interestingly, combined LER/BM-MSC therapy was superior to cell therapy alone in inhibiting 3-NP-induced neurological insults via modulation of the Ca2+/CaN/NFATc4 and Wnt/β-catenin signalling pathways. LER/BM-MSC combined therapy may represent a feasible approach for improving the beneficial effects of stem cell therapy in HD.
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