Butyrate Protects Against Salsolinol-Induced Toxicity in SH-SY5Y Cells: Implication for Parkinson’s Disease

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Parkinson’s disease (PD), a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, is associated with the destruction of dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra (SN) and the formation of Lewy bodies in basal ganglia. Risk factors for PD include aging, as well as environmental and genetic factors. Recent converging reports suggest a role for the gut microbiome and epigenetic factors in the onset and/or progression of PD. Of particular relevance and potential therapeutic targets in this regard are histone deacetylases (HDACs), enzymes that are involved in chromatin remodeling. Butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid (FA) produced in the gut and presumably acting via several G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) including FA3 receptors (FA3Rs), is a well-known HDAC inhibitor that plays an important role in maintaining homeostasis of the gut-brain axis. Recently, its significance in regulation of some critical brain functions and usefulness in neurodegenerative diseases such as PD has been suggested. In this study we sought to determine whether butyrate may have protective effects against salsolionl (SALS)-induced toxicity in SH-SY5Y cells. SALS, an endogenous product of aldehyde and dopamine condensation, may be selectively toxic to dopaminergic neurons. SH-SY5Y cells, derived from human neuroblastoma cells, are used as a model of these neurons. Exposure of SH-SY5Y cells for 24 h to 400 μM SALS resulted in approximately 60% cell death, which was concentration-dependently prevented by butyrate. The effects of butyrate in turn were significantly attenuated by beta-hydroxy butyrate (BHB), a selective FA3R antagonist. Moreover, a selective FA3R agonist (AR 420626) also provided protective effects against SALS, which was totally blocked by BHB. These findings provide further support that butyrate or an agonist of FA3R may be of therapeutic potential in PD.

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