Tinospora cordifolia as a potential neuroregenerative candidate against glutamate induced excitotoxicity: an in vitro perspective.
BMC Complement Altern Med. 2018 Oct 1 ;18(1):268. Epub 2018 Oct 1. PMID: 30285727
BACKGROUND: Glutamate, the major excitatory neurotransmitter of CNS acts as a neurotoxin at higher concentrations. Prolonged activation of glutamate receptors results in progressive neuronal damage by aggravating calcium influx, inducing mitochondrial damage and oxidative stress. Excitotoxic cell death is associated with the pathogenesis of various neurodegenerative disorders such as trauma, brain injury and neurodegenerative diseases. The current study was designed to investigate the neuroprotective and neuroregenerative potential of Tinospora cordifolia against glutamate-induced excitotoxicity using primary cerebellar neuronal cultures as a model system.
METHODS: Monosodium salt of glutamate was used to induce neurotoxic injury in primary cerebellar neurons. Four extracts including Hexane extract, Chloroform extract, Ethyl acetate, and Butanol extract were obtained from fractionation of previously reported aqueous ethanolic extract of T. cordifolia and tested for neuroprotective activity. Out of the four fractions, Butanol extract of T. cordifolia (B-TCE) exhibited neuroprotective potential by preventing degeneration of neurons induced by glutamate. Expression of different neuronal, apoptotic, inflammatory, cell cycle regulatory and plasticity markers was studied by immunostaining and Western blotting. Neurite outgrowth and migration were also studied using primary explant cultures, wound scratch and gelatin zymogram assay.
RESULTS: At molecular level, B-TCE pretreatment of glutamate-treated cultures normalized the stress-induced downregulation in the expression of neuronal markers (MAP-2, GAP-43, NF200) and anti-apoptotic marker (Bcl-xL). Further, cells exposed to glutamate showed enhanced expression of inflammatory (NF-κB, AP-1) and senescence markers (HSP70, Mortalin) as well as the extent of mitochondrial damage. However, B-TCE pretreatment prevented this increase and inhibited glutamate-induced onset of inflammation, stress and mitochondrial membrane damage. Furthermore, B-TCE was observed to promote regeneration, migration and plasticity of cerebellar neurons, which was otherwise significantly inhibited by glutamate treatment.
CONCLUSION: These results suggest that B-TCE may have neuroprotective and neuroregenerative potential against catastrophic consequences of glutamate-mediated excitotoxicity and could be a potential therapeutic candidate for neurodegenerative diseases.