Polymannuronic acid prevents dopaminergic neuronal loss via brain-gut-microbiota axis in Parkinson's disease model

Xiao Li Dong, Xiong Wang, Fang Liu, Xin Liu, Zhong Rui Du, Robert W. Li, Chang Hu Xue, Ka Hing Wong, Wing Tak Wong, Qing Zhao, Qing Juan Tang (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The study aims to investigate the potentially neuroprotective effects and underlying mechanisms for brown seaweed polysaccharide of polymannuronic acid (PM) against Parkinson's disease (PD) pathogenesis. PD model mice were pretreated with PM via oral gavage once per day for 4 weeks and the preventative effects of PM against neuronal loss together with its modulation on brain-gut-microbiota axis were systematically explored. The results showed PM administration improved motor functions by preventing dopaminergic neuronal loss in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) and enhanced contents of striatal homovanillic acid (HVA), serotonin (5-HT), 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid (5-HIAA) and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in PD mice. PM significantly alleviated inflammation in gut, brain and systemic circulation as shown by reduced levels or expressions of pro-inflammatory cytokines concurrently and inhibited mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) signaling pathway in mice colon. Meanwhile, PM greatly improved integrity of intestinal barrier and blood brain barrier (BBB) as indicated by increased expressions of tight junction associated proteins in both mice colon and SNpc. Further studies indicated PM treatment resulted in changes of gut microbial compositions, together with great alterations of digestion and metabolism of dietary proteins and fats, which led to surge increase of fecal short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) in the colon of PD mice. In conclusion, pre-administration of PM could provide neuroprotective effects against PD pathogenesis by suppressing inflammation in gut, brain and systemic circulation, and by improving integrity of intestinal barrier and BBB. PM might modulate brain-gut-microbiota axis, at least in part, via gut microbiota derived SCFAs as mediators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)994-1005
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


  • Brain-gut-microbiota axis
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Polymannuronic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Energy(all)

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