Promethazine protects against 3-nitropropionic acid-induced neurotoxicity
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Promethazine (PMZ), an FDA-approved antihistaminergic drug, was identified as a potentially neuroprotective compound in a NINDS screening program. It was shown to protect against ischemia in mice, to delay disease onset in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and to inhibit Ca(2+)-induced mitochondrial permeability transition in rat liver mitochondria. We investigated whether PMZ could protect against the neurotoxic effects induced by 3-nitropropionic acid (3-NP), an inhibitor of the succinate dehydrogenase, used to model Huntington's disease (HD) in rats. Lewis rats receiving chronic subcutaneous infusion of 3-NP were treated with PMZ. The findings indicate that chronic PMZ treatment significantly reduced 3-NP-induced striatal lesion volume, loss of GABAergic neurons and number of apoptotic cells in the striatum. PMZ showed a strong neuroprotective effect against 3-NP toxicity in vivo.