Patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) often have non-motor symptoms related to gastrointestinal (GI) dysfunction, such as constipation and delayed gastric emptying, which manifest prior to the motor symptoms of PD. Increasing evidence indicates that changes in the composition of the gut microbiota may be related to the pathogenesis of PD. However, it is unclear how GI dysfunction occurs and how gut microbial dysbiosis is caused. We investigated whether a neurotoxin model of PD induced by chronic low doses of MPTP is capable of reproducing the clinical intestinal pathology of PD, as well as whether gut microbial dysbiosis accompanies this pathology. C57BL/6 male mice were administered 18 mg/kg MPTP twice per week for 5 weeks via intraperitoneal injection. GI function was assessed by measuring the 1-h stool frequency and fecal water content; motor function was assessed by pole tests; and tyrosine hydroxylase and alpha-synuclein expression were analyzed. Furthermore, the inflammation, intestinal barrier and composition of the gut microbiota were measured.
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