Ligusticum chuanxiong as a potential neuroprotectant for preventing serum deprivation-induced apoptosis in rat pheochromocytoma cells: Functional roles of mitogen-activated protein kinases

Yun Lian Lin, Guei Jane Wang, Chuen Lin Huang, Yi Chao Lee, Wei Chen Liao, Wen Lin Lai, Yen Ju Lin, Nai Kuei Huang

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23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ethnopharmacological relevance: Ligusticum chuanxiong (LC) as a common component in many traditional Chinese medicinal formulas and decoctions has been used to treat different central nervous diseases, suggesting a neuroprotective function. Aim of the study: To investigate the functional roles of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) in mediating the neuroprotection of LC. Materials and methods: Different extractions of LC were applied with or without MAPK inhibitor to test their protection against serum deprivation-induced apoptosis in rat neuronal-like pheochromocytoma (PC12) cells as revealed by an MTT assay or Hoechst staining. Western blot was used to identify the activations of MAPKs. Results: The most effective butanol extraction (LC-BuOH) was used in the following experiments. LC-BuOH reversed serum deprivation-induced decreased phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and increased phosphorylation of c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) and p38, the family of MAPKs. A PKA inhibitor, blocked the protection of LC-BuOH and partially blocked LC-BuOH-induced alterations in MAPKs, suggesting that the LC-BuOH regulates MAPKs through both PKA-dependent and -independent pathways. Although PD 98059, an inhibitor of MEK which activates ERK, blocked LC-BuOH-induced ERK phosphorylation, it did not block the protection of LC-BuOH. Conclusions: LC-BuOH mediates protection by suppressing JNK/p38 instead of activating ERK activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-423
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Ethnopharmacology
Volume122
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 21 2009
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • Apoptosis
  • Ligusticum chuanxiong
  • MAPKs
  • Pheochromocytoma cells
  • Serum deprivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery

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