Neuroprotective Efficacy of a New Brain-Penetrating C-Abl Inhibitor in a Murine Parkinson's Disease Model

Syed Z. Imam, William Trickler, Shinya Kimura, Zbigniew K. Binienda, Merle G. Paule, William Slikker, Senlin Li, Robert A. Clark, Syed F. Ali

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66 Scopus citations


Experimental evidence suggests that oxidative and nitrative mechanisms account for much of the dopaminergic neuronal injury in Parkinson's disease (PD). The ubiquitously expressed non-receptor tyrosine kinase c-Abl is activated by oxidative stress and thus, may play a role in redox-mediated neurodegeneration. Recently, we reported that c-Abl is activated in PD and that a c-Abl inhibitor mitigated neuronal damage in a PD animal model, suggesting a novel neuroprotective therapeutic approach. In the studies presented here, we evaluated the efficacy of a potent and clinically relevant second-generation irreversible Abl kinase inhibitor, INNO-406, as a therapeutic agent for PD. Our studies reveal that INNO-406 is capable of preventing the progression of dopaminergic neuronal damage in a toxin-induced C57 mouse model of PD. Using bovine brain microvessel endothelium as an in vitro blood-brain barrier (BBB) model, we detected rapid and significant transfer of INNO-406. Additionally, pharmacokinetic analyses demonstrated significant nanomolar concentrations of INNO-406 in brain in the presence or absence of MPTP administration, however, INNO-406 did not alter the brain levels of MPP+ in MPTP-treated mice. Finally, we showed that 10 mg/kg of INNO-406 given to C57 mice for one week before MPTP treatment (4×20 mg/kg i.p., every 2 h) and then for one week after MPTP treatment decreased the loss of dopamine in the striatum by 45% and the loss of TH+ neurons in substantia nigra pars compacts by 40%. This treatment regimen also abrogated activation of c-Abl, tyrosine phosphorylation of the Abl substrate and E3-ubiquitin ligase parkin, and accumulation of the toxic parkin substrate AIMP2. We propose that compounds of the INNO-406 class of Abl inhibitors will be useful new neuroprotective drugs for the treatment of PD-like pathology in preclinical systems that should be easily translated to the clinic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere65129
JournalPloS one
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 31 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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