HCH6-1, an antagonist of formyl peptide receptor-1, exerts anti-neuroinflammatory and neuroprotective effects in cellular and animal models of Parkinson's disease

Hung Li Wang, Yi Chuan Cheng, Tu Hsueh Yeh, Han Fang Liu, Yi Hsin Weng, Rou Shayn Chen, Yi Chun Chen, Juu Chin Lu, Tsong Long Hwang, Kuo Chen Wei, Yu Chuan Liu, Yu Ting Wang, Chia Chen Hsu, Tai Ju Chiu, Ching Chi Chiu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

5 Scopus citations


Microglial activation-induced neuroinflammation contributes to onset and progression of sporadic and hereditary Parkinson's disease (PD). Activated microglia secrete pro-inflammatory and neurotoxic IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α, which subsequently promote neurodegeneration. Formyl peptide receptor-1 (FPR1) of CNS microglia functions as pattern recognition receptor and is activated by N-formylated peptides, leading to microglial activation, induction of inflammatory responses and resulting neurotoxicity. In this study, it was hypothesized that FPR1 activation of microglia causes loss of dopaminergic neurons by activating inflammasome and upregulating IL-1β, IL-6 or TNF-α and that FPR1 antagonist HCH6-1 exerts neuroprotective effect on dopaminergic neurons. FPR1 agonist fMLF induced activation of microglia cells by causing activation of NLRP3 inflammasome and upregulation and secretion of IL-1β, IL-6 or TNF-α. Conditioned medium (CM) of fMLF-treated microglia cells, which contains neurotoxic IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α, caused apoptotic death of differentiated SH-SY5Y dopaminergic neurons by inducing mitochondrial oxidative stress and activating pro-apoptotic signaling. FPR1 antagonist HCH6-1 prevented fMLF-induced activation of inflammasome and upregulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines in microglia cells. HCH6-1 co-treatment reversed CM of fMLF-treated microglia-induced apoptotic death of dopaminergic neurons. FPR1 antagonist HCH6-1 inhibited rotenone-induced upregulation of microglial marker Iba-1 protein level, cell death of dopaminergic neurons and motor impairment in zebrafish. HCH6-1 ameliorated rotenone-induced microglial activation, upregulation of FPR1 mRNA, activation of NLRP3 inflammasome, cell death of SN dopaminergic neurons and PD motor deficit in mice. Our results suggest that FPR1 antagonist HCH6-1 possesses anti-neuroinflammatory and neuroprotective effects on dopaminergic neurons by inhibiting microglial activation and upregulation of inflammasome activity and pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115524
Pages (from-to)115524
JournalBiochemical Pharmacology
StatePublished - 06 2023

Bibliographical note

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  • Dopaminergic neurons
  • Formyl peptide receptor-1
  • HCH6-1
  • Microglia
  • Neuroinflammation
  • Parkinson's disease
  • NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein/metabolism
  • Receptors, Formyl Peptide/genetics
  • Parkinson Disease/drug therapy
  • Neuroinflammatory Diseases
  • Humans
  • Zebrafish
  • Neuroblastoma/metabolism
  • Neuroprotective Agents/pharmacology
  • Rotenone/toxicity
  • Animals
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/metabolism
  • Inflammasomes/metabolism
  • Interleukin-6/metabolism
  • Dopaminergic Neurons
  • Mice
  • Cytokines/metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal


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