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Front Pharmacol. 2019 Jul 16;10:792. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2019.00792. eCollection 2019.

TTB Protects Astrocytes Against Oxygen-Glucose Deprivation/Reoxygenation-Induced Injury via Activation of Nrf2/HO-1 Signaling Pathway.

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Institute of Translational Medicine, Medical College, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou, China.
Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Experimental & Translational Non-coding RNA Research, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou, China.
Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Zoonosis, Jiangsu Co-innovation Center for Prevention and Control of Important Animal Infectious Diseases and Zoonoses, College of Veterinary Medicine, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou, China.
Department of Pharmacy, Clinical Medical College, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou, China.


Neonatal hypoxic/ischemic encephalopathy (NHIE) is a severe condition that leads to death or neurological disability in newborns. The underlying pathological mechanisms are unclear, and developing the target neuroprotective strategies are urgent. 2,7,2'-trihydroxy-4,4'7'-trimethoxy-1,1'-biphenanthrene (TTB) is a natural product isolated from Cremastra appendiculata (D. Don) Makino and Liparis nervosa (Thunb.) Lindl. TTB has demonstrated potent cytotoxic activity against stomach (HGC-27) and colon (HT-29) cancer cell lines. However, none of the studies have addressed the effects of TTB in NHIE. In the present study, an oxygen-glucose deprivation/reoxygenation (OGD/R)-induced astrocyte injury model was established to investigate the effect of TTB and its potential mechanisms. Our results showed that TTB alleviated the OGD/R-induced reactive oxygen species increase and the intracellular antioxidant capacity of superoxide dismutase activity decrease. Moreover, TTB potentially prolonged the activation state of the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2)/heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) pathway and maintained the protection against oxidative stress in OGD/R-induced astrocytes by inducing the nuclear translocation and up-regulation of Nrf2 along with the enhanced expression of the downstream target gene HO-1. Furthermore, TTB treatment diminished the accumulation of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression induced by OGD/R. We also found TTB-treated astrocytes reversed the inhibition of OGD/R on neurite growth of neurons by the astrocyte-neuron coculture system. In conclusion, TTB inhibited the OGD/R-induced astrocyte oxidative stress at least partially through the inhibition of HIF-1α and VEGF via the Nrf2/HO-1 signaling pathway.


HIF-1α; Nrf2/HO-1 signaling pathway; TTB; VEGF; astrocytes; neonatal hypoxia/ischemic encephalopathy; oxygen-glucose deprivation/reoxygenation

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