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Protective efficacy of phosphodiesterase-1 inhibition against alpha-synuclein toxicity revealed by compound screening in LUHMES cells.

Sci Rep. 2017 Sep 13;7(1):11469. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-11664-5.

Authors/Editors: Höllerhage M, Moebius C, Melms J, Chiu WH, Goebel JN, Chakroun T, Koeglsperger T, Oertel WH, Rösler TW, Bickle M, Höglinger GU.
Publication Date: 2017



α-synuclein-induced neurotoxicity is a core pathogenic event in neurodegenerative synucleinopathies such as Parkinson's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, or multiple system atrophy. There is currently no disease-modifying therapy available for these diseases. We screened 1,600 FDA-approved drugs for their efficacy to protect LUHMES cells from degeneration induced by wild-type α-synuclein and identified dipyridamole, a non-selective phosphodiesterase inhibitor, as top hit. Systematic analysis of other phosphodiesterase inhibitors identified a specific phosphodiesterase 1 inhibitor as most potent to rescue from α-synuclein toxicity. Protection was mediated by an increase of cGMP and associated with the reduction of a specific α-synuclein oligomeric species. RNA interference experiments confirmed PDE1A and to a smaller extent PDE1C as molecular targets accounting for the protective efficacy. PDE1 inhibition also rescued dopaminergic neurons from wild-type α-synuclein induced degeneration in the substantia nigra of mice. In conclusion, this work identifies inhibition of PDE1A in particular as promising target for neuroprotective treatment of synucleinopathies.

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