Oxidative stress plays a key role in the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in Parkin-son’s disease (PD), which may be aggravated by concomitant PD-associated gut dysbiosis. Pro-biotics and prebiotics are therapeutically relevant to these conditions due to their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and gut microbiome modulation properties. However, the mechanisms by which probiotic/prebiotic supplementation affects antioxidant capacity and the gut microbiome in PD remains poorly characterized. In this study, we assessed the effects of a Lactobacillus salivarius AP-32 probiotic, a prebiotic (dried AP-32 culture medium supernatant), and a probiotic/prebiotic cocktail in rats with unilateral 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-induced PD. The neuroprotective effects and levels of oxidative stress were evaluated after eight weeks of daily supplementation. Fecal microbiota composition was analyzed by fecal 16S rRNA gene sequencing. The supplements were associated with direct increases in host antioxidant enzyme activities and short-chain fatty acid production, protected dopaminergic neurons, and improved motor functions. The supplements also altered the fecal microbiota composition, and some specifically enriched commensal taxa correlated positively with superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, and catalase activity, indicating supplementation also promotes antioxidant activity via an indirect pathway. Therefore, L. salivarius AP-32 supplementation enhanced the activity of host antioxidant enzymes via direct and indirect modes of action in rats with 6-OHDA-induced PD.
ASJC Scopus subject areas