Send to

Choose Destination
Neurotoxicology. 2016 Jul;55:48-57. doi: 10.1016/j.neuro.2016.05.008. Epub 2016 May 13.

Luteolin protects the hippocampus against neuron impairments induced by kainic acid in rats.

Author information

Department of Anesthesiology, Far-Eastern Memorial Hospital, New Taipei City, Taiwan; Department of Mechanical Engineering, Yuan Ze University, Taoyuan, Taiwan.
School of Medicine, Fu Jen Catholic University, No. 510, Zhongzheng Rd., Xinzhuang District, New Taipei City, 24205, Taiwan. Electronic address:


Glutamatergic excitotoxicity is crucial in the pathogenesis of numerous brain disorders. Luteolin, a flavonoid compound, inhibits glutamate release, however, its ability to affect glutamate-induced brain injury is unknown. Therefore, this study evaluated the protective effect of luteolin against brain damage induced by kainic acid (KA), a glutamate analog. Rats were treated with luteolin (10 or 50mg/kg, intraperitoneally) 30min before an intraperitoneal injection of KA (15mg/kg). Luteolin treatment reduced the KA-induced seizure score and elevations of glutamate levels in the hippocampus. A histopathological analysis showed that luteolin attenuated KA-induced neuronal death and microglial activation in the hippocampus. An immunoblotting analysis showed that luteolin restored the KA-induced reduction in Akt phosphorylation in the hippocampus. Furthermore, a Morris water maze test revealed that luteolin effectively prevented KA-induced learning and memory impairments. The results suggest that luteolin protected rat brains from KA-induced excitotoxic damage by reducing glutamate levels, mitigating inflammation, and enhancing Akt activation in the hippocampus. Therefore, luteolin may be beneficial for preventing or treating brain disorders associated with excitotoxic neuronal damage.


Cognitive function; Excitotoxicity; Hippocampus; Kainic acid; Luteolin; Neuroprotection

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center