Corynoxine B derivative CB6 prevents Parkinsonian toxicity in mice by inducing PIK3C3 complex-dependent autophagy

Zhou Zhu, Liang feng Liu, Cheng fu Su, Jia Liu, Benjamin Chun Kit Tong, Ashok Iyaswamy, Senthilkumar Krishnamoorthi, Sravan Gopalkrishnashetty Sreenivasmurthy, Xin jie Guan, Yu xuan Kan, Wen jian Xie, Chen liang Zhao, King ho Cheung, Jia hong Lu, Jie qiong Tan, Hong jie Zhang, Ju xian Song, Min Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Increasing evidence shows that autophagy impairment is involved in the pathogenesis and progression of neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson’s disease (PD). We previously identified a natural alkaloid named corynoxine B (Cory B) as a neuronal autophagy inducer. However, its brain permeability is relatively low, which hinders its potential use in treating PD. Thus we synthesized various derivatives of Cory B to find more potent autophagy inducers with improved brain bioavailability. In this study, we evaluated the autophagy-enhancing effect of CB6 derivative and its neuroprotective action against PD in vitro and in vivo. We showed that CB6 (5–40 μM) dose-dependently accelerated autophagy flux in cultured N2a neural cells through activating the PIK3C3 complex and promoting PI3P production. In MPP+-treated PC12 cells, CB6 inhibited cell apoptosis and increased cell viability by inducing autophagy. In MPTP-induced mouse model of PD, oral administration of CB6 (10, 20 mg· kg−1· d−1, for 21 days) significantly improved motor dysfunction and prevented the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the striatum and substantia nigra pars compacta. Collectively, compound CB6 is a brain-permeable autophagy enhancer via PIK3C3 complex activation, which may help the prevention or treatment of PD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2511-2526
Number of pages16
JournalActa Pharmacologica Sinica
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • MPP
  • PI3P
  • PIK3C3 complex
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • autophagy
  • corynoxine B
  • dopaminergic neuron
  • oxindole alkaloid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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