Repurposing of Trimetazidine for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: A study in SOD1G93A mice

Silvia Scaricamazza, Illari Salvatori, Susanna Amadio, Valentina Nesci, Alessio Torcinaro, Giacomo Giacovazzo, Aniello Primiano, Michela Gloriani, Niccolò Candelise, Luisa Pieroni, Jean Philippe Loeffler, Frederique Renè, Cyril Quessada, Tesfaye W. Tefera, Hao Wang, Frederik J. Steyn, Shyuan T. Ngo, Gabriella Dobrowolny, Elisa Lepore, Andrea UrbaniAntonio Musarò, Cinzia Volonté, Elisabetta Ferraro, Roberto Coccurello, Cristiana Valle, Alberto Ferri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Purpose: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a neurodegenerative disease characterized by the degeneration of upper and lower motor neurons, progressive wasting and paralysis of voluntary muscles and is currently incurable. Although considered to be a pure motor neuron disease, increasing evidence indicates that the sole protection of motor neurons by a single targeted drug is not sufficient to improve the pathological phenotype. We therefore evaluated the therapeutic potential of the multi-target drug used to treatment of coronary artery disease, trimetazidine, in SOD1G93A mice. Experimental Approach: As a metabolic modulator, trimetazidine improves glucose metabolism. Furthermore, trimetazidine enhances mitochondrial metabolism and promotes nerve regeneration, exerting an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect. We orally treated SOD1G93A mice with trimetazidine, solubilized in drinking water at a dose of 20 mg kg−1, from disease onset. We assessed the impact of trimetazidine on disease progression by studying metabolic parameters, grip strength and histological alterations in skeletal muscle, peripheral nerves and the spinal cord. Key Results: Trimetazidine administration delays motor function decline, improves muscle performance and metabolism, and significantly extends overall survival of SOD1G93A mice (increased median survival of 16 days and 12.5 days for male and female respectively). Moreover, trimetazidine prevents the degeneration of neuromuscular junctions, attenuates motor neuron loss and reduces neuroinflammation in the spinal cord and in peripheral nerves. Conclusion and Implications: In SOD1G93A mice, therapeutic effect of trimetazidine is underpinned by its action on mitochondrial function in skeletal muscle and spinal cord.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Pharmacology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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