The reduction of methionine sulfoxide in proteins is facilitated by the methionine sulfoxide reductase (Msr) system. The Msr reduction activity is important for protecting cells from oxidative stress related damages. Indeed, we have recently shown that treatment of cells with N-acetyl-methionine sulfoxide can increase Msr activity and protect neuronal cells from amyloid beta toxicity. Thus, in search of other similar Msr-inducing molecules, we examined the effects of pergolide, pergolide sulfoxide, and S-adenosyl-methionine on Msr activity in neuronal cells. Treatment of neuronal cells with a physiological range of pergolide and pergolide sulfoxide (0.5-1.0. μM) caused an increase of about 40% in total Msr activity compared with non-treated control cells. This increase in activity correlated with similar increases in methionine sulfoxide reductase A protein expression levels. Similarly, treatment of cells with S-adenosyl methionine also increased cellular Msr activity, which was milder compared to increases induced by pergolide and pergolide sulfoxide. We found that all the examined compounds are able to increase cellular Msr activity to levels comparable to N-acetyl-methionine sulfoxide treatment. Pergolide, pergolide sulfoxide, and S-adenosyl methionine can cross the blood-brain barrier. Therefore, we hypothesize that they can be useful in the treatment of symptoms/pathologies that are associated with reduced Msr activity.
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