2004 年 27 巻 8 号 p. 1245-1250
Neuroprotective effects of estrogen and estrogen-like chemicals on neurodegenerative diseases, especially Parkinson's disease, have been well established. In the present study, we compared the effects of Bak Foong Pill (BFP), a well-known gynaecological tonic in China, and 17β-estradiol, on dopamine transporter (DAT) and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) gene expression patterns in ovariectomized, 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahyrdropyridine (MPTP)-induced Parkinson's disease (PD) model mice, using multiplex reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). MPTP, a specific dopaminergic neurotoxin, significantly decreased DAT and TH mRNA levels in the striatum, midbrain and cerebellum, but not the cortex, of C57BL/6 mice. However, MPTP-challenge with BFP pretreatment demonstrated reduced neurotoxicity, with DAT and TH mRNA levels either not affected by MPTP or affected to a significantly lesser extent in the midbrain and striatum as compared to the MPTP treated controls. 17β-estradiol treatment prevented MPTP-induced reduction of DAT expression in striatum and midbrain, but failed to alter TH expression. These results suggest that BFP is able to protect dopaminergic neurons against MPTP-induced neuronal damage in a mechanism that is different from the protective effect of estrogen.