The neuro-protective effects of the tspo ligands cb86 and cb204 on 6-ohda-induced pc12 cell death as an in vitro model for parkinson’s disease

Sheelu Monga, Nunzio Denora, Valentino Laquintana, Rami Yashaev, Abraham Weizman, Moshe Gavish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder which is characterized by the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in substantia nigra (SN). Oxidative stress or reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation was suggested to play a role in this specific type of neurodegeneration. Therapeutic options which can target and counteract ROS generation may be of benefit. TSPO ligands are known to counteract with neuro-inflammation, ROS generation, apoptosis, and necrosis. In the current study, we investigated an in vitro cellular PD model by the assessment of 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA, 80 µM)-induced PC12 neurotoxicity. Simultaneously to the exposure of the cells to 6-OHDA, we added the TSPO ligands CB86 and CB204 (25 µM each) and assessed the impact on several markers of cell death. The two ligands normalized significantly (57% and 52% respectively, from 44%; whereas the control was 68%) cell proliferation at different time points from 0–24 h. Additionally, we evaluated the effect of these two TSPO ligands on necrosis using propidium iodide (PI) staining and found that the ligands inhibited significantly the 6-OHDA-induced necrosis. As compared to control, the red count was increased up to 57-fold whereas CB86 and CB204 inhibited to 2.7-fold and 3.2-fold respectively. Necrosis was also analyzed by LDH assay which showed significant effect. Both assays demonstrated similar potent anti-necrotic effect of the two TSPO ligands. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation induced by 6-OHDA was also inhibited by the two TSPO ligand up to 1.3 and 1.5-fold respectively, as compared to 6-OHDA group. CB86 and CB204 inhibited also normalized the cell viability up to 1.8-fold after the exposure to 6-OHDA, as assessed by XTT assay. The two TSPO ligands also inhibited apoptosis significantly (1.3-fold for both) as assessed by apopxin green staining. In summary, it appears that the two TSPO ligands CB86 and CB204 can suppress cell death of PC12 induced by 6-OHDA. The results may be relevant to the use of these two TSPO ligands as therapeutic option neurodegenerative diseases like PD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1183
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • CB86 and CB204
  • Cell death
  • Dopaminergic neurons
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Substantia nigra
  • TSPO


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