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Eur J Pharmacol. 2004 Nov 28;505(1-3):11-8.

Echinacoside rescues the SHSY5Y neuronal cells from TNFalpha-induced apoptosis.

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Department of Neurology, Peking University Third Hospital, No. 49 Huayuan Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100083, PR China.


We investigated the neuroprotective effect of echinacoside, one of the phenylethanoids isolated from the stems of Cistanches salsa, a Chinese herbal medicine, on tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFalpha)-induced apoptosis in human neuroblastoma (SHSY5Y) cells. Treatment of cultured SHSY5Y cells with TNFalpha 100 ng ml(-1) for 36 h stimulated apoptosis, as demonstrated by typical morphological changes, cell viability, DNA laddering, annexin-V binding, intracellular reactive oxygen species, mitochondrial membrane potential and caspase-3 activity. However, simultaneous treatment with echinacoside (1, 10 or 100 microg ml(-1)) attenuated the TNFalpha-mediated apoptosis. The antiapoptotic action of echinacoside was partially dependent on antioxidative stress effects, maintenance of mitochondria function, inhibition of caspase-3 activity and was also associated with increasing the expression of the antiapoptotic protein Bcl2. Thus, echinacoside has the neuroprotective capacity to antagonize TNFalpha-induced apoptosis in SHSY5Y cells and may be useful in treating some neurodegenerative diseases.

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