Comparison of the neuroprotective potential of theanine and minocycline

Mpofu, Tariro Ann-Maureen (2010) Comparison of the neuroprotective potential of theanine and minocycline. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.




Stroke is one of the most common causes of disability and death worldwide. The most commonly experienced stroke in the clinical setting is focal ischaemia in which the middle cerebral artery (MCA) is occluded and leads to a complex series of various pathophysiological pathways that ultimately lead to neuronal cell death. Several studies have been conducted on various therapeutic agents in the search for a neuroprotective drug and various animal models have been used to carry out this research. While theanine, a component of green tea and minocycline, a tetracycline antibiotic, have been shown to possess some neuroprotective properties, the mechanisms by which these two agents carry out these effects still remains unclear. The objectives of this study were to investigate the mechanisms by which these drugs carry out these neuroprotective effects and their neuroprotective ability in a MCA occlusion model of focal ischaemia. Ischaemia leads to oxidative stress due to the imbalance of free radicals and the endogenous antioxidant defence system. An antioxidant assay using the stable 2, 2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH●) radical was used to assess the antiradical properties of each drug. It was found that minocycline showed superior antioxidant activity in vitro when compared to theanine. Further studies on the drugs‟ ability to attenuate the Fenton reaction (in which iron catalyses the formation of reactive species) were elucidated using electrochemical analysis, UV/VIS studies, ferrozine and ferritin assays. It was found that minocycline, in contrast to theanine, was able to bind to iron ions and thus potentially prevent the participation of iron in metal catalysed radical reaction. The antioxidant activity of both drugs was further investigated by assessing their effect on cyanide-induced superoxide generation and quinolinic acid (QA)-induced lipid peroxidation (LP). Experimental evidence shows that both drugs had no significant effect on the generation of superoxide in vitro and that there was a significant decrease in LP for minocycline in vitro and theanine in vivo. The metal binding and antioxidant properties were postulated to be a possible mechanism through which these agents reduced lipid peroxidation. A study was conducted to determine the effects of the drugs on the biosynthesis of the neurotoxin, QA and it was found that minocycline increases the levels of holoenzyme activity of tryptophan-2, 3-dioxygenase (TDO) in vitro and that theanine reduces the levels of the same enzyme in vivo after treatment for 10 days. TDO is the enzyme that converts tryptophan to other products that enable enzymatic activity to change it to QA. Minocycline was thought to bring about this effect as it has been shown from preceding experimental studies that it is an effective reducing agent. Theanine on the other hand is hypothesised to bring about a reduction in holoenzyme activity by changing the binding of tryptophan to the enzyme or affecting the radicals that participate in the enzymatic degradation of tryptophan. A focal ischaemic model of stroke was induced by occluding the MCA. Histological examination of the hippocampus post -ischaemia shows a reduction in the size of the infarct after pre-treatment with minocycline only. A further study into the effects of the drugs on the generation of superoxide and on the levels of the endogenous glutathione after a stroke was carried out. Pre-treatment of the animals with either theanine or minocycline showed no significant effects on the generation of the radical species or of the endogenous antioxidant which ruled out these as a mechanism of neuroprotection of both drugs, post-ischaemia. The findings of this study provide novel information on the possible mechanisms by which both theanine and minocycline act to bring about neuroprotection. In particular in this study, pre-treatment with minocycline has shown promise in the focal ischaemic model of stroke.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Tetracycline, Nervous system, Theanine, Antibiotics, Cerebrovascular disease
Subjects:R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Pharmacy
ID Code:2336
Deposited By: Mrs Carol Perold
Deposited On:09 Jan 2012 14:27
Last Modified:09 Jan 2012 14:27
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