Aims: Small molecule compound tyrphostin A9 (A9), an inhibitor of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) receptor, was previously reported by our group to stimulate extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 (ERK1) and 2 (ERK2) in neuronal cells in a PDGF receptor-irrelevant manner. The study aimed to investigate whether A9 could protect axons in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis through activation of ERKs. Main methods: A9 treatment on the protection on neurite outgrowth in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells and primary substantia nigra neuron cultures from the neurotoxin MPP+ were analyzed. Then, clinical symptoms as well as ERK1/2 activation, axonal protection induction, and the abundance increases of the regeneration biomarker GAP-43 in the CNS in the relapsing-remitting experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) model were verified. Key findings: A9 treatment could stimulate neurite outgrowth in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells and protect primary substantia nigra neuron cultures from the neurotoxin MPP+. In the relapsing-remitting EAE model, oral administration of A9 successfully ameliorated clinical symptoms, activated ERK1/2, induced axonal protection, and increased the abundance of the regeneration biomarker GAP-43 in the CNS. Interestingly, gene deficiency of ERK1 or ERK2 disrupted the beneficial effects of A9 in MOG-35-55-induced EAE. Significance: These results demonstrated that small molecule compounds that stimulate persistent ERK activation in vitro and in vivo may be useful in protective or restorative treatment for neurodegenerative diseases.
- Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE)
- Extracellular signal-regulated kinase
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Tyrphostin A9
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)