Meclizine is a well-tolerated drug routinely used as an anti-histamine agent in the management of disequilibrium. Recently, meclizine has been assessed for its neuroprotective properties in ischemic stroke and Huntington disease models. We found that meclizine protected against 6-hydroxydopamine-induced apoptosis and cell death in both SH-SY5Y cells and rat primary cortical cultures. Meclizine increases the level of 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose-2,6-biphosphatase 3 (PFKFB3), which activates phosphofructokinase, a rate-determining enzyme of glycolysis. This protection is therefore mediated by meclizine's ability to enhance glycolysis and increase mitochondrial hyperpolarization. Meclizine represents an interesting candidate for further investigation to re-purpose for its potential to be neuroprotective in Parkinson disease.
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