More studies are required to develop therapeutic agents for treating spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3), which is caused by mutant polyglutamine-expanded ataxin-3 and is the most prevalent subtype of spinocerebellar ataxias. T1-11 [N6-(4-Hydroxybenzyl) adenosine], isolated from a Chinese medicinal herb Gastordia elata, is an adenosine A2A receptor agonist. SCA3 and Huntington's disease (HD) belong to a family of polyglutamine neurodegenerative diseases. T1-11 exerted a therapeutic effect on HD transgenic mouse by decreasing protein level of polyglutamine-expanded huntingtin in the striatum. In the present study, we test the possibility that T1-11 or JMF1907 [N6-(3-Indolylethyl) adenosine], a synthetic analog of T1-11, alleviates pontine neuronal death, cerebellar transcriptional downregulation and ataxic symptom in the SCA3 transgenic mouse expressing HA-tagged polyglutamine-expanded ataxin-3-Q79 (ataxin-3-Q79HA). Daily oral administration of T1-11 or JMF1907 prevented neuronal death of pontine nuclei in the SCA3 mouse with a dose-dependent manner. Oral application of T1-11 or JMF1907 reversed mutant ataxin-3-Q79-induced cerebellar transcriptional repression in the SCA3 transgenic mouse. T1-11 or JMF1907 ameliorated the symptom of motor incoordination displayed by SCA3 mouse. Oral administration of T1-11 or JMF1907 significantly decreased protein level of ataxin-3-Q79HA in the pontine nuclei or cerebellum of SCA3 mouse. T1-11 or JMF1907 significantly augmented the chymotrypsin-like activity of proteasome in the pontine nuclei or cerebellum of SCA3 mouse. Our results suggests that T1-11 and JMF1907 alleviate pontine neuronal death, cerebellar transcriptional downregulation and ataxic symptom of SCA3 transgenic mouse by augmenting the proteasome activity and reducing the protein level of polyglutamine-expanded ataxin-3-Q79 in the pontine nuclei and cerebellum.
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