Synergistic effects of influenza and 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) can be eliminated by the use of influenza therapeutics: experimental evidence for the multi-hit hypothesis | npj Parkinson's Disease

H1N1 virus
H1N1 virus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
"Central Nervous System inflammation has been implicated in neurodegenerative disorders including Parkinson’s disease (Ransohoff, Science 353: 777–783, 2016; Kannarkat et al. J. Parkinsons Dis. 3: 493–514, 2013). Here, we examined if the H1N1 influenza virus (Studahl et al. Drugs 73: 131–158, 2013) could synergize with the parkinsonian toxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (Jackson-Lewis et al. in Mark LeDoux (ed) Movement Disorders: Genetics and Models: 287–306, Elsevier, 2015) to induce a greater microglial activation and loss of substantia nigra pars compacta dopaminergic neurons than either insult alone. H1N1-infected animals administered 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine exhibit a 20% greater loss of substantia nigra pars compacta dopaminergic neurons than occurs from the additive effects of H1N1 or 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine alone (p < 0.001). No synergistic effects were found in microglial activation. The synergistic dopaminergic neuron loss is eliminated by influenza vaccination or treatment with oseltamivir carboxylate. This work shows that multiple insults can induce synergistic effects; and even these small changes can be significant as it might allow one to cross a phenotypic disease threshold that would not occur from individual non-interacting exposures. Our observations also have important implications for public health, providing impetus for influenza vaccination or prompt treatment with anti-viral medications upon influenza diagnosis."

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