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AC-186, a Selective Nonsteroidal Estrogen Receptor β Agonist, Shows Gender Specific Neuroprotection in a Parkinson’s Disease Rat Model

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posted on 2013-09-18, 00:00 authored by Krista McFarland, Diana L. Price, Christopher N. Davis, Jian-Nong Ma, Douglas W. Bonhaus, Ethan S. Burstein, Roger Olsson
Drugs that selectively activate estrogen receptor β (ERβ) are potentially safer than the nonselective estrogens currently used in hormonal replacement treatments that activate both ERβ and ERα. The selective ERβ agonist AC-186 was evaluated in a rat model of Parkinson’s disease induced through bilateral 6-hydroxydopamine lesions of the substantia nigra. In this model, AC-186 prevented motor, cognitive, and sensorimotor gating deficits and mitigated the loss of dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra, in males, but not in females. Furthermore, in male rats, 17β-estradiol, which activates ERβ and ERα with equal potency, did not show the same neuroprotective benefits as AC-186. Hence, in addition to a beneficial safety profile for use in both males and females, a selective ERβ agonist has a differentiated pharmacological profile compared to 17β-estradiol in males.