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Neurosci Lett. 2009 Aug 14;459(3):157-61. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2009.05.010. Epub 2009 May 7.

A synthetic analog of verbenachalcone potentiates NGF-induced neurite outgrowth and enhances cell survival in neuronal cell models.

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  • 1Biomanufacturing Research Institute and Technology Enterprise, North Carolina Central University, Durham, NC 27707, USA.


This study uses NeuroScreen-1 (NS-1) cells, a derivative of pheochromocytoma (PC12) cells, to examine neurite outgrowth induced by a novel synthetic verbenachalcone derivative, DSRB20-022 (C22). We treated NS-1 cells with varying concentrations of C22 in the presence of 2ng/mL nerve growth factor (NGF). A dose-dependent effect of C22 was observed at concentrations of 2microM and above, resulting in significant enhancement of NGF-dependent neurite outgrowth in NS-1 cells. C22 did not exhibit neuritogenic activity in the absence of NGF, but promoted a concentration-dependent increase in neurite-bearing cells without inducing cytotoxicity. Cell viability assays showed that C22 and the parent compound verbenachalcone (VC) are neuroprotective and enhanced survival of NS-1, PC12, and the murine neuro-2A (N2a) cell lines under conditions of serum deprivation. The results show that augmentation of NGF-induced neurite outgrowth by C22 in NS-1 was dependent on MAP kinase. Furthermore, the neuroprotective function of C22 and VC was accompanied by suppression of caspase-3/7 activation. However, C22 and VC exerted their antagonistic effects on caspase-3/7 activation through potentially different mechanisms of action.

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