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Neurotoxicology. 2013 May;36:24-33. doi: 10.1016/j.neuro.2013.01.008. Epub 2013 Feb 6.

Quercetin prevents protein nitration and glycolytic block of proliferation in hydrogen peroxide insulted cultured neuronal precursor cells (NPCs): Implications on CNS regeneration.

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Clinical Toxicology Laboratory (Formerly, Developmental Toxicology Laboratory), Department of Medical Elementology and Toxicology, Jamia Hamdard (Hamdard University), New Delhi 110062, India.


Survival along with optimal proliferation of neuronal precursors determines the outcomes of the endogenous cellular repair in CNS. Cellular-oxidation based cell death has been described in several neurodegenerative disorders. Therefore, this study was aimed at the identification of the potent targets of oxidative damage to the neuronal precursors and its effective prevention by a natural flavonoid, Quercetin. Neuronal precursor cells (NPCs), Nestin+ and GFAP (Glial fibrillary acidic protein)+ were isolated and cultured from adult rat SVZ (subventricular zone). These cells were challenged with a single dose of H2O2 (50μM) and/or pre-treated with different concentrations of Quercetin. H2O2 severely limited the cellular viability and expansion of the neurospheres. Cellular-oxidation studies revealed reduction in glutathione dependent redox buffering along with depletion of enzymatic cellular antioxidants that might potentiate the nitrite (NO2(-)) and superoxide anion (O2(-)) mediated peroxynitrite (ONOO(-)) formation and irreversible protein nitration. We identified depleted PK-M2 (M2 isoform of pyruvate kinase) activity and apoptosis of NPCs revealed by the genomic DNA fragmentation and elevated PARP (poly ADP ribose polymerase) activity along with increased Caspase activity initiated by severely depolarised mitochondrial membranes. However, the pre-treatment of Quercetin in a dose-response manner prevented these changes and restored the expansion of neurospheres preferably by neutralizing the oxidative conditions and thereby reducing peroxynitrite formation, protein nitration and PK-M2 depletion. Our results unravel the potential interactions of oxidative environment and respiration in the survival and activation of precursors and offer a promise shown by a natural flavonoid in the protective strategy for neuronal precursors of adult brain.

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