Inhibition of the cyclooxygenase isoenzymes COX-1 and COX-2 provide neuroprotection in the MPTP-mouse model of Parkinson's disease

Peter Teismann, B. Ferger

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278 Citations (Scopus)


To study the possible role of the isoenzymes of cyclooxygenase COX-1 and COX-2 in the MPTP (1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine) mouse model of Parkinson's disease we used acetylsalicylic acid, a COX-1/COX-2 inhibitor, in comparison with meloxicam, a preferential COX-2 inhibitor. As markers of protection we determined the effects on MPTP-induced striatal dopamine depletion, locomotor activity, cell loss, and tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactivity (TH-IR) in the substantia nigra pars compacta. Male C57BL/6 mice (n = 82) were treated with a single dose of acetylsalicylic acid (10, 50, 100 mg/kg i.p.) or meloxicam (2, 7.5, 50 mg/kg i.p.) immediately prior to administration of MPTP (30 mg/kg s.c.) or saline. After 7 days the mice were sacrificed to analyze striatal dopamine and metabolite levels. Nigral sections were processed for Nissl-staining and TH-IR. In the saline-treated MPTP control group striatal dopamine levels were reduced to 15.9% of control values. Dopamine depletion was significantly attenuated to values of 37.1 and 38.6% of saline control values by acetylsalicylic acid (50 and 100 mg/kg) and to values of 36 and 40% by meloxicam (7.5 and 50 mg/kg), respectively. MPTP-induced decrease of locomotor activity was significantly attenuated by acetylsalicylic acid and meloxicam. Remarkably, the MPTP-induced decrease of TH-IR as well as the loss of nigral neurons was nearly completely prevented by acetylsalicylic acid (100 mg/kg) and meloxicam (7.5 and 50 mg/kg). In conclusion, the inhibition of either COX-1/COX-2 by acetylsalicylic acid or preferentially COX-2 by meloxicam provided a clear neuroprotection against MPTP-toxicity on the striatal and nigral levels. (C) 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-174
Number of pages7
Issue number2
Early online date1 Dec 2000
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2001


  • acetylsalicylic acid
  • meloxicam
  • inflammation
  • neurodegeneration
  • substantia nigra
  • nitric-oxide synthase
  • substantia-nigra
  • factor-alpha
  • growth-factor
  • C-JUN
  • mice
  • brain
  • salicylate
  • activation


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