L-Theanine Ameliorated Rotenone-Induced Parkinsonism-like Symptoms in Rats

Cheng Neng Chen, Mao Hsien Wang, Hung Sheng Soung, Shu Mei Chen, Chih Hsiang Fang, Yi Wen Lin, Hsiang Chien Tseng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Rotenone (RO)-induced neurotoxicity exhibits pathophysiological features similar to those reported in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD), such as nitrosative and oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and neural cytoarchitecture alterations in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc)/striatum (ST), which has been used for decades as an animal model of PD in humans. L-Theanine (LT), a major amino acid component of green tea, exhibits potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities and protects against various neural injuries. We investigated the potential therapeutic effects of LT on RO-induced behavioral and neurochemical dysfunction in rats and the neuroprotective mechanisms underlying these effects. Unilateral stereotaxic intranigral infusion of RO into the SNpc to induce PD-like manifestations induced significant behavioral impairment as evaluated using an open field test, rotarod test, grip strength measurement, and beam-crossing task in rats. LT treatment (300 mg/kg i.p., 21 days) ameliorated most RO-induced behavioral impairments. In addition, LT treatment reduced nitric oxide level and lipid peroxidation production, increased mitochondrial function and integrity, as well as the activities of mitochondrial complexes I, II, IV, and V, and reduced the levels of neuroinflammatory and apoptotic markers in the SNpc and ameliorated the levels of catecholamines, GABA and glutamate in the ST induced by RO. These results demonstrate the possible therapeutic effects of LT against RO-induced behavioral impairments, including antioxidative effects, prevention of mitochondrial dysfunction, prevention of neurochemical deficiency, anti-neuroinflammatory effects, and anti-apoptotic effects. This is the first report on the neuroprotective effect of LT against RO-induced behavioral impairments, and the above evidence provides a potential clinically relevant role for LT in the management of human PD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-258
Number of pages18
JournalNeurotoxicity Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


  • -Theanine
  • Motor impairment
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Rotenone
  • Substantia nigra pars compacta

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Toxicology


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