Parkinson disease (PD) is a severe neurodegenerative disorder that affects around 2% of the population over 65 years old. It is characterized by the progressive loss of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons, resulting in motor disabilities of the patients. At present, only symptomatic cures are available, without suppressing disease progression. In this frame, the anti-diabetic drug metformin has been investigated as a potential disease modifier for PD, being a low-cost and generally welltolerated medication, which has been successfully used for decades in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Despite the precise mechanisms of action of metformin being not fully elucidated, the drug has been known to influence many cellular pathways that are associated with PD pathology. In this review, we present the evidence in the literature supporting the neuroprotective role of metformin, i.e., autophagy upregulation, degradation of pathological α-synuclein species, and regulation of mitochondrial functions. The epidemiological studies conducted in diabetic patients under metformin therapy aimed at evaluating the correlation between long-term metformin consumption and the risk of developing PD are also discussed. Finally, we provide an interpretation for the controversial results obtained both in experimental models and in clinical studies, thus providing a possible rationale for future investigations for the repositioning of metformin for PD therapy.

Metformin repurposing for parkinson disease therapy: Opportunities and challenges

Agostini F.;Masato A.;Bubacco L.
;
Bisaglia M.
2021

Abstract

Parkinson disease (PD) is a severe neurodegenerative disorder that affects around 2% of the population over 65 years old. It is characterized by the progressive loss of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons, resulting in motor disabilities of the patients. At present, only symptomatic cures are available, without suppressing disease progression. In this frame, the anti-diabetic drug metformin has been investigated as a potential disease modifier for PD, being a low-cost and generally welltolerated medication, which has been successfully used for decades in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Despite the precise mechanisms of action of metformin being not fully elucidated, the drug has been known to influence many cellular pathways that are associated with PD pathology. In this review, we present the evidence in the literature supporting the neuroprotective role of metformin, i.e., autophagy upregulation, degradation of pathological α-synuclein species, and regulation of mitochondrial functions. The epidemiological studies conducted in diabetic patients under metformin therapy aimed at evaluating the correlation between long-term metformin consumption and the risk of developing PD are also discussed. Finally, we provide an interpretation for the controversial results obtained both in experimental models and in clinical studies, thus providing a possible rationale for future investigations for the repositioning of metformin for PD therapy.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3441616
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