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CNS Drug Rev. 2007 Fall;13(3):296-307.

Lig-8, a highly bioactive lignophenol derivative from bamboo lignin, exhibits multifaceted neuroprotective activity.

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1
Department of Biofunctional Molecules, Gifu Pharmaceutical University, Gifu, Japan.

Abstract

Lignin is a durable aromatic network polymer that is second only to cellulose in natural abundance. Lig-8, a lignophenol derivative from bamboo lignin, is a highly potent neuroprotectant. It protects human neuroblastoma cells (SH-SY5Y) from hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-induced apoptosis by preventing caspase-3 activation via either caspase-8 or caspase-9. It exerts this antiapoptotic effect by protecting mitochondrial membrane permeability from damage by H2O2 or the peripheral benzodiazepine receptor ligand PK11195. Lig-8 has been also shown to scavenge the reactive oxygen or nitrogen species in vitro. Furthermore, lig-8 suppresses apoptosis induced by oxygen-glucose deprivation, tunicamycin (endoplasmic reticulum [ER]-stress inducer), or proteasome inhibitor in pheochromocytoma cells. In addition, in vivo, lig-8 reduced intravitreal N-methyl-D-aspartate-induced retinal damage (decreases in retinal ganglion cells and inner plexiform layer thickness) in mice. Lig-8 prevents neuronal damage partly by inhibiting excessive endoplasmic reticulum stress. In this article, we review the protective effects of lig-8 against apoptosis induced by various stimuli. Apoptosis is an active, energy-dependent process through which living cells initiate their own death. It can be induced by a variety of physiological and pharmacological stimuli. Apoptotic cell death is associated with neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer, Parkinson, or Huntington disease as well as glaucoma. We believe that the elucidation of the mechanism of antiapoptotic action of lig-8 may help in finding new approaches to the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders.

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