Eucommia ulmoides Oliv. bark. attenuates 6-hydroxydopamine-induced neuronal cell death through inhibition of oxidative stress in SH-SY5Y cells

Seung-Hwan Kwon, Shi-Xun Ma, Sa-Ik Hong, Sun Yeou Kim, Seok-Yong Lee, Choon-Gon Jang
Journal of Ethnopharmacology 2014 February 27, 152 (1): 173-82

ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Eucommia ulmoides Oliv. Bark. (EUE) has commonly been used to fortify the muscles and lungs, lower blood pressure, prevent miscarriage, improve liver and kidney tone, and promote longevity as a traditional tonic medicine in Korea, China, and Japan.

AIM OF THE STUDY: In this study, we investigated the mechanisms by which EUE protects neuronal cells from apoptosis induced by the Parkinson's disease (PD)-related neurotoxin, 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We determined the neuroprotective effects of EUE on 6-OHDA-induced neuronal cell death, cytotoxicity, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, and mitochondrial membrane dysfunction. Moreover, we examined whether EUE suppressed phosphorylation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt, and glycogen synthase kinase-3 beta (GSK-3β). Furthermore, the neuroprotective effects of EUE on 6-OHDA-induced activation of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) was studied in SH-SY5Y cells.

RESULTS: Pretreatment of SH-SY5Y cells with EUE significantly reduced 6-OHDA-induced cell death and cytotoxicity. EUE inhibited 6-OHDA-induced generation of ROS, which conferred cytoprotection against 6-OHDA-induced oxidative injury. EUE treatment also strikingly inhibited 6-OHDA-induced mitochondrial dysfunction. In addition, EUE suppressed phosphorylation of JNK, PI3K/Akt, and GSK-3β. Furthermore, EUE blocked 6-OHDA-induced NF-κB nuclear translocation, an event downstream from JNK, PI3K/Akt, and GSK-3β phosphorylation. Moreover, chlorogenic acid (CGA), one of the active constituents of EUE, was also able to reduce 6-OHDA-induced toxicity in SH-SY5Y cells.

CONCLUSION: Taken together, these results suggest that EUE attenuates oxidative stress through activation of JNK, PI3K/Akt, GSK-3β, and NF-κB pathways, thereby protecting cells from neuronal cell death.

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