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      Puerarin exhibits greater distribution and longer retention time in neurons than astrocytes in a co-cultured system

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          Abstract

          The phytoestrogen puerarin has been shown to protect neurons and astrocytes in the brain, and is therefore an attractive drug in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and cerebral ischemia. Whether puerarin exhibits the same biological processes in neurons and astrocytes in vitro has rarely been reported. In this study, cortical neurons and astrocytes of newborn Sprague-Dawley rats were separated, identified and co-cultured in a system based on Transwell membranes. The retention time and distribution of puerarin in each cell type was detected by fluorescence spectrophotometry and fluorescence microscope. The concentration of puerarin in both co-cultured and separately cultured neurons was greater than that of astrocytes. Puerarin concentration reached a maximum 20 minutes after it was added. At 60 minutes after its addition, a scant amount of drug was detected in astrocytes; however in both separately cultured and co-cultured neurons, the concentration of puerarin achieved a stable level of about 12.8 ng/mL. The results indicate that puerarin had a higher concentration and longer retention time in neurons than that observed in astrocytes.

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          Neuroprotective mechanisms of puerarin in middle cerebral artery occlusion-induced brain infarction in rats

          Puerarin, a major isoflavonoid derived from the Chinese medical herb Radix puerariae (kudzu root), has been reported to be useful in the treatment of various cardiovascular diseases. In the present study, we examined the detailed mechanisms underlying the inhibitory effects of puerarin on inflammatory and apoptotic responses induced by middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) in rats. Treatment of puerarin (25 and 50 mg/kg; intraperitoneally) 10 min before MCAO dose-dependently attenuated focal cerebral ischemia in rats. Administration of puerarin at 50 mg/kg, showed marked reduction in infarct size compared with that of control rats. MCAO-induced focal cerebral ischemia was associated with increases in hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α), inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), and active caspase-3 protein expressions as well as the mRNA expression of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) in ischemic regions. These expressions were markedly inhibited by the treatment of puerarin (50 mg/kg). In addition, puerarin (10~50 μM) concentration-dependently inhibited respiratory bursts in human neutrophils stimulated by formyl-Met-Leu-Phe. On the other hand, puerarin (20~500 μM) did not significantly inhibit the thiobarbituric acid-reactive substance reaction in rat brain homogenates. An electron spin resonance (ESR) method was conducted on the scavenging activity of puerarin on the free radicals formed. Puerarin (200 and 500 μM) did not reduce the ESR signal intensity of hydroxyl radical formation. In conclusion, we demonstrate that puerarin is a potent neuroprotective agent on MCAO-induced focal cerebral ischemia in vivo. This effect may be mediated, at least in part, by the inhibition of both HIF-1α and TNF-α activation, followed by the inhibition of inflammatory responses (i.e., iNOS expression), apoptosis formation (active caspase-3), and neutrophil activation, resulting in a reduction in the infarct volume in ischemia-reperfusion brain injury. Thus, puerarin treatment may represent a novel approach to lowering the risk of or improving function in ischemia-reperfusion brain injury-related disorders.
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            Involvement of activation of PI3K/Akt pathway in the protective effects of puerarin against MPP+-induced human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cell death.

            In an attempt to clarify the protective effect of puerarin on toxin-insulted dopaminergic neuronal death, this present study was carried out by using a typical Parkinson's disease (PD) model - 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium iodide (MPP(+))-induced dopaminergic SH-SY5Y cellular model. Data are presented, which showed that puerarin up-regulated Akt phosphorylation in both of MPP(+)-treated and non-MPP(+)-treated cells. The presence of PI3K inhibitor LY294002 completely blocked puerarin-induced activation of Akt phosphorylation. Moreover, puerarin decreased MPP(+)-induced cell death, which was blocked by phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor LY294002. We further demonstrated that puerarin protected against MPP(+)-induced p53 nuclear accumulation, Puma (p53-upregulated mediator of apoptosis) and Bax expression and caspase-3-dependent programmed cell death (PCD). This protection was blocked by applying a PI3K/Akt inhibitor. Additionally, it was Pifithrin-α, but not Pifithrin-μ, which blocked MPP(+)-induced Puma and Bax expression, caspase-3 activation and cell death. Collectively, these data suggest that the activation of PI3K/Akt pathway is involved in the protective effect of puerarin against MPP(+)-induced neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cell death through inhibiting nuclear p53 accumulation and subsequently caspase-3-dependent PCD. Puerarin might be a potential therapeutic agent for PD. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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              Progress on the pharmacological research of puerarin: a review.

              Contemporary pharmacological research has demonstrated that puerarin, the most important phytoestrogen extracted from Pueraria lobata(Willd.) Ohwi, has protecting functions on the cardiovascular system, nervous system, osteoporosis, liver injury, and inflammation in vivo and in vitro. Most of these research studies focused on inhibiting oxidative stress and apoptosis through regulating various bioactivators and signal pathways. Among these, superoxide dismutase (SOD), endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and malondialdehyde (MDA), and PI3K/Akt, MAPK, and NF-κB are of great importance. The data cited in this review were mainly obtained from articles listed in PubMed and Elsevier SDOL published from 1959 to 2013, and the search term used was "puerarin".
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                Author and article information

                Affiliations
                [1 ]Pharmaceutical Sciences College & Chinese Medicine College of Southwest University; Chongqing Engineering Research Center for Pharmacodynamics Evaluation, Chongqing, China
                [2 ]Rongchang Campus of Southwest University, Chongqing, China
                [3 ]Chongqing Three Gorges Medical College, Chongqing, China
                Author notes
                [* ] Correspondence to: Xiao-yu Xu, xuxiaoyu@ 123456swu.edu.cn .

                Author contributions: SYW, BBF and XYX designed the study. SYW, JT, QX and FHS performed the experiments. SYW, YJL and YL analyzed the data. SYW and XYX wrote the paper. All authors approved the final version of this paper .

                Journal
                Neural Regen Res
                Neural Regen Res
                NRR
                Neural Regeneration Research
                Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd (India )
                1673-5374
                1876-7958
                April 2015
                : 10
                : 4
                : 605-609
                4424754 NRR-10-605 10.4103/1673-5374.155435
                Copyright: © Neural Regeneration Research

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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