Lycopene protects against t-BHP-induced neuronal oxidative damage and apoptosis via activation of the PI3K/Akt pathway.
Mol Biol Rep. 2019 Jun ;46(3):3387-3397. Epub 2019 Apr 20. PMID: 31006097
Oxidative stress is a key factor of and closely implicated in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). We herein used tert-butyl hydroperoxide (t-BHP) to induce oxidative stress and mimic oxidative neurotoxicity in vitro. Lycopene is a natural antioxidant that has a strong ability to eliminate free radicals and shows effective protection in some neurodegenerative disease models. However, the effect of lycopene on t-BHP-induced neuronal damage in primary mouse neurons is unknown. This study aimed to investigate the effects of lycopene on t-BHP-induced neuronal damage and the related mechanisms. We found that lycopene pretreatment effectively enhanced the cell viability, improved the neuron morphology, increased the GSH/GSSG level, restored the mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) and decreased reactive oxygen species generation. Furthermore, lycopene reduced the ratios of Bax:Bcl-2 and cleaved caspase-3:caspase-3 and the level of cytochrome C, increased the levels of synaptophysin (SYP) and postsynaptic density 95 (PSD95) and activated the PI3K/Akt pathway. In conclusion, lycopene attenuated oxidative stress and reduced t-BHP-induced cell apoptosis, and the mechanism is likely related to activation of the PI3K/Akt pathway. Therefore, lycopene is a potential agent for preventing oxidative stress-mediated AD.