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Mar Drugs. 2013 May 3;11(5):1440-55. doi: 10.3390/md11051440.

Neuritogenic and neuroprotective effects of polar steroids from the Far East starfishes Patiria pectinifera and Distolasterias nipon.

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Institute of Molecular Biology and Biophysics, SB RAMS, Novosibirsk 630117, Russia.


The neuritogenic and neuroprotective activities of six starfish polar steroids, asterosaponin Р₁, (25S)-5α-cholestane-3β,4β,6α,7α,8,15α,16β,26-octaol, and (25S)-5α-cholestane-3β,6α,7α,8,15α,16β,26-heptaol (1-3) from the starfish Patiria pectinifera and distolasterosides D₁-D₃ (4-6) from the starfish Distolasterias nipon were analyzed using the mouse neuroblastoma (NB) C-1300 cell line and an organotypic rat hippocampal slice culture (OHSC). All of these compounds enhanced neurite outgrowth in NB cells. Dose-dependent responses to compounds 1-3 were observed within the concentration range of 10-100 nM, and dose-dependent responses to glycosides 4-6 were observed at concentrations of 1-50 nM. All the tested substances exhibited notable synergistic effects with trace amounts of nerve growth factor (NGF, 1 ng/mL) or brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF, 0.1 ng/mL). Using NB cells and OHSCs, it was shown for the first time that starfish steroids 1-6 act as neuroprotectors against oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) by increasing the number of surviving cells. Altogether, these results suggest that neurotrophin-like neuritogenic and neuroprotective activities are most likely common properties of starfish polyhydroxysteroids and the related glycosides, although the magnitude of the effect depended on the particular compound structure.

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