Paeoniflorin exerts neuroprotective effects against glutamate‑induced PC12 cellular cytotoxicity by inhibiting apoptosis.
Int J Mol Med. 2017 Sep ;40(3):825-833. Epub 2017 Jul 20. PMID: 28731183
Paeoniflorin (PF) is an active ingredient of Radix Paeoniae, which is known to exert neuroprotective effects. However, the mechanims behind the neuroprotective effects of PF are not yet fully understood. The apoptosis of neurons plays an important role in the cerebral ischemia-induced cascade response. Thisstudy aimed to investigate neuroprotective effects of PF against glutamate‑induced PC12 cellular cytotoxicity and to determine whether these effects are mediated via the inhibition of apoptosis in vitro and the activity of mitochondrial apoptosis-associated proteins in PC12 cells. Exposure ofthe PC12 cells to glutamate induced cell morphological changes, significantly decreased cell viability and induced apoptosis, with similar results being observed from the Hoechst 33342 staining and Annexin V/PI staining experiments. Glutamate also increased the lactate dehydrogenase release by thePC12 cells. However, treatment with PF prevented these effects. Furthermore, PF inhibited Bax and Bad expression and increased Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL expression; it also decreased the levels of downstream protein (caspase-3 and caspase-9). Collectively, our results indicate that PF protects PC12 cells against glutamate-induced neurotoxicity possibly through the inhibition of the expression of mitochondrial apoptosis-associated proteins.