Neurotoxicity Research

, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 452–462 | Cite as

Anti-inflammatory Activity of Ursolic Acid in MPTP-Induced Parkinsonian Mouse Model

  • Sachchida Nand Rai
  • Walia Zahra
  • Saumitra Sen Singh
  • Hareram Birla
  • Chetan Keswani
  • Hagera Dilnashin
  • Aaina Singh Rathore
  • Rajan Singh
  • Rakesh K. Singh
  • Surya Pratap SinghEmail author
Original Article


Neuroinflammation plays an important role in the progression of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and hence may represent a target for treatment. The drugs used currently for PD only provide symptomatic relief and have adverse effects in addition to their inability in preventing degeneration of neurons. Flavonoids show potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities which is very valuable for the health of human beings. Thus, in the present study, we have tried to explore the anti-inflammatory activity of orally given ursolic acid (UA) (25 mg/kg bwt), a pentacyclic triterpenoid in 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-intoxicated mouse model. Significant severe oxidative stress and biochemical alterations have been seen in Parkinsonian mice after MPTP intoxication. Whereas, UA administration has significantly rescued the harmful consequence of MPTP intoxication. Ionized calcium-binding adaptor molecule 1 (Iba1), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), and nuclear transcription factor-κB (NF-κB) were seen to be altered in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) of MPTP-intoxicated mice through immunohistochemical studies. The changes in the expression level of these parameters primarily suggest increased inflammatory responses in MPTP-intoxicated mice as compared with the control. However, UA have significantly reduced these inflammatory parameters (Iba1 and TNF-α) along with transcription factor NF-κB, which regulates these inflammatory parameters and thus have inhibited MPTP-induced neuroinflammation. The immunoreactivity of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) was considerably increased by UA treatment in the SNpc of Parkinsonian mice. The neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration along with impairments in biochemical and behavioral parameters were found to be reversed on treatment with UA. Thus, UA has shown potent anti-inflammatory activity by preventing the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons from MPTP-induced Parkinsonian mice.


Parkinson’s disease Ursolic acid MPTP Neuroinflammation 



The authors SNR, HB, SSS, and WZ were sincerely thankful to ICMR, DBT, ICMR, and BHU India for their respective fellowship. They are also thankful to the Head, Department of Biochemistry, I.O.S, B.H.U for providing the basic Departmental Facility and I.S.L.S, and B.H.U for their central facility. They would also like to acknowledge Anand Prakash for helping in the fluorescence studies.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

The experimental protocol used for the animals and the test that were carried out in this study was approved and permitted by the Animal Ethical Committee of Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sachchida Nand Rai
    • 1
  • Walia Zahra
    • 1
  • Saumitra Sen Singh
    • 1
  • Hareram Birla
    • 1
  • Chetan Keswani
    • 1
  • Hagera Dilnashin
    • 1
  • Aaina Singh Rathore
    • 1
  • Rajan Singh
    • 1
  • Rakesh K. Singh
    • 1
  • Surya Pratap Singh
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry, Institute of ScienceBanaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia

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