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J Neurosci Res. 2000 Jan 15;59(2):259-64.

Cynandione A from Cynanchum wilfordii protects cultured cortical neurons from toxicity induced by H2O2, L-glutamate, and kainate.

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College of Pharmacy, Seoul National University, Korea.


Oxidative stress has been implicated as a primary cause of neuronal death in certain neurodegenerative disorders and in aging brains. Natural products have been used in Asian societies for centuries for treating such neurodegenerative disorders as senile dementia. In an effort to identify active neuroprotective compounds from these products, we have employed cultures of rat cortical neurons as our screening system. A methanolic extract from dried roots of Cynanchum wilfordii Hemsley (Asclepiadaceae) significantly mitigated the neurotoxicity induced by H2O2 in this screening system. Activity-guided fractionation using several chromatographic techniques resulted in the isolation of the neuroprotective compound, cynandione A, a biacetophenone. At a concentration of 50 microM, cynandione A significantly reduced neurotoxicity induced by H2O2. Cynandione A significantly attenuated decreases in levels of glutathione, superoxide dismutase, and other enzymes that participate in the cellular defense against oxidative stress. Furthermore, cynandione A alleviated neurotoxicity induced by the excitotoxic neurotransmitter, L-glutamate, the neurotoxicity induced by kainate, but not that mediated by N-methyl-D-aspartate. Cynandione A was demonstrated to be a natural antioxidant as it facilitated the breakdown of hydrogen peroxide in vitro; however, no mechanism was uncovered to explain its neuroprotectant effects against glutamate and kainate. Therefore, cynandione A may be efficacious in protecting neurons from oxidative stress mediated via activation of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate/kainate receptors since it exerted significant neuroprotective effects on cultured cortical neurons.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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