Abstract Title:

Withaferin A Induces Heat Shock Response and Ameliorates Disease Progression in a Mouse Model of Huntington's Disease.

Abstract Source:

Mol Neurobiol. 2021 Apr 26. Epub 2021 Apr 26. PMID: 33904021

Abstract Author(s):

Tripti Joshi, Vipendra Kumar, Elena V Kaznacheyeva, Nihar Ranjan Jana

Article Affiliation:

Tripti Joshi


Impairment of proteostasis network is one of the characteristic features of many age-related neurodegenerative disorders including autosomal dominantly inherited Huntington's disease (HD). In HD, N-terminal portion of mutant huntingtin protein containing expanded polyglutamine repeats accumulates as inclusion bodies and leads to progressive deterioration of various cellular functioning including proteostasis network. Here we report that Withaferin A (a small bioactive molecule derived from Indian medicinal plant, Withania somnifera) partially rescues defective proteostasis by activating heat shock response (HSR) and delays the disease progression in a HD mouse model. Exposure of Withaferin A activates HSF1 and induces the expression of HSP70 chaperones in an in vitro cell culture system and also suppresses mutant huntingtin aggregation in a cellular model of HD. Withaferin A treatment to HD mice considerably increased their lifespan as well as restored progressive motor behavioral deficits and declined body weight. Biochemical studies confirmed the activation of HSR and global decrease in mutant huntingtin aggregates load accompanied with improvement of striatal function in Withaferin A-treated HD mouse brain. Withaferin A-treated HD mice also exhibit significant decrease in inflammatory processes as evident from the decreased microglial activation. These results indicate immense potential of Withaferin A for the treatment of HD and related neurodegenerative disorders involving protein misfolding and aggregation.

Study Type : Animal Study

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