Δ9-TETRAHYDROCANNABINOL IS PROTECTIVE THROUGH PPARγ DEPENDENT MITOCHONDRIAL BIOGENESIS IN A CELL CULTURE MODEL OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE.
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Cannabinoids such as Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) are neuroprotective in animal and cell culture models of Parkinson's disease (PD). In a PD cell culture model we recently demonstrated that Δ9-THC is neuroprotective through activation of the nuclear receptor peroxisomal proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ). Furthermore, activation by specific agonists rosiglitazone and pioglitazone, has also been found neuroprotective. PPARγ is a nuclear receptor whose activation can lead to the expression of proteins involved in the de novo synthesis of mitochondria. One such protein is the PPARγ co-activator 1 α (PGC1α) as it co-activates NRF-1 mediated gene expression which is essential for the production of nuclear encoded, mitochondrial proteins. Here we investigate the effect of Δ9-THC and pioglitazone on mitochondrial biogenesis.
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